Taking cue from the name itself, dental assistants are the persons who assist the dentists in their daily jobs. Dental assistants or DAs in some instances are considered as the key persons in any dental clinic. Aside from assisting dentists in dental surgeries and other relevant tasks, DAs are also delegated the tasks of maintaining dental records, calculating dental bills, taking care of dental instruments, and preparing patient-specific dental care plans. With these tasks at hand, it is not wondrous at all why dental assistant salary is one of the most financially-rewarding salaries the health care sector offers.
An individual who aspires to be a dental assistant needs to finish high school education before being admitted to colleges and universities that offer training programs and courses for dental assistants. Generally, students taking up courses for dental assistants need to spend a year or two to gain full knowledge of the career he or she wants to practice. Of course, there are also online DA training programs that can make dental assisting studies more convenient. But then, regardless of whether one chooses to attend classes on campus settings or through online schools, he or she still needs to pass a certification exam. This particular examination will serve as license for an individual to successfully penetrate the field of dental care.
Certification exams for DAs are administered by Dental Assisting National Board. Passing this examination plus adequate time of training spent in duly accredited learning institutions shall make entry to the dental care industry hassle-free.
Being a certified dental assistant gives an individual more edge in receiving higher salaries. But then, the dental assistant salary is always dependent on various factors. One such factor is the size of the dental health care setting the dental assistant belongs. DAs that work in large hospitals will practically receive higher compensations than those working in dental clinics and small hospitals. Another factor that can affect the salaries of dental assistants is the location of the work place. Dental assistants working in large cities receive higher hourly wage than those who choose to serve in small cities and urban areas. But then regardless of the annual salary DAs receive, all of them are entitled to insurance coverage and other benefits that are associated with their jobs. They are also entitled to some time off work, workers compensation benefits, and other disability claims shall the need arise.
The figures obtained by different research agencies may differ, but on average, the usual salary of DAs ranges from $ 30000 to $ 35000 yearly. The highest earners can have as much as $ 46000 a year while the lowest paid may earn somewhere in the $ 28000 mark.
Dental assistant salary is expected to become higher within the next few years due to expected growth of the dental care industry to as much as 20%. This projected growth rate is parallel to the rising need of dentists and the establishment of dental clinics in many locations. In connection with this, the demand for dental assistants is also projected to generate nearly 180000 jobs by the end of 2018.