Getting into the dental industry is a wise career choice for people that have an interest in health care and enjoy working with people. The outlook for dental assisting careers is very good as many dental offices around the country are looking for dental assistants and there is room for growth within the office once you gain experience.
To get your career started, you will first need to go to dental assisting school and get your dental assisting degree. Once you have obtained your dental assisting degree you can begin to work as a dental assistant right out of school.
Since dental assisting school programs are very common at community colleges, you should have no trouble finding a dental assisting school in your area. Enrollment is competitive and you will be required to have a high school diploma and may be required to have a number of science courses to qualify for the program. Check with the dental assisting school in your area for more information about admissions and program requirements.
Dental Assisting Salary
On average, dental assistants make between $ 32, 000 and $ 42, 000 per year. This works out to approximately $ 15 to $ 18 per hour.
How much you make as a dental assistant is impacted by:
• The type of dental office you work for
• Where your employer is located
• Your working situation – some work part time
• The number of hours you work per week – most work between 30 – 40 per week
• Your level of experience
• Your responsibilities in the dental office
• The dental assisting school you went to
• The dental assisting degree you hold
• If you took dental assisting courses that helped you acquire a specialized skill
Dental Assisting Career Facts
Prior to starting a career as a dental assistant, it is important that you do your research and understand what to expect once you graduate from dental assisting school. The following are some interesting career facts that all dental assisting school students should consider:
• In some states, dental assistants are required to get licensed
• Many dental assistants move on to become office managers or get into dental sales in the future
• Many dental assistants go back to school to become a dental hygienist
• Job opportunities for dental assisting school graduates is good for the next 5 years
• All dental assisting degrees include a dental assisting course internship opportunity
• Many assistants take additional dental assisting courses after graduation as a form of professional development and to keep up with changes within the industry.
• Expect to work evenings and on Saturdays as many offices have extensive office hours
• Some dental assistants work at multiple offices
• Only half of all dental assists work full time hours. The rest work part time.
• Your role and duties will vary based on the dentist and the office that you work in