Posted in Career Insights
Dental Assistant Salary

When you walk into your local dentist’s office for a tooth extraction, and the dentist has a partner sitting in and handing them tools while you’re waiting for the work to start, that is an employee known as a dental assistant.  

These assistants serve to do various tasks in the office that don’t require a doctorate and an exhaustive amount of knowledge about the mouth.

They understand everything from working with the dentist during a difficult procedure to ensuring that patients are calm during a teeth cleaning.

The people who perform these jobs are extremely important, as they help keep a dentist’s office running smoothly.

They are also a friendly point of contact for patients in what many consider to be a painful situation. Dental assistants are vital to society’s healthy teeth. 

Average Dental Assistant Yearly and Hourly Pay 

Overall, the median annual salary for someone who works as a dental assistant is a respectable $41,180 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that the average hourly pay is $19.80 for each hour worked. 

However, factors like education, experience, specialization, and location can influence a dental assistant’s pay.

If you’re wondering, How much do dental assistants make? it is necessary to factor in the dental assistant’s education.

Many dental assistant positions require only a high school diploma. However, if you hold a higher degree or even a certification, you will likely be justified in expecting a higher salary.

If you become an experienced enough dental assistant, you will likely see your pay increase. Ten-plus-year veterans in the industry can earn salaries up to $48,500, according to Indeed. 

It is also worth noting that if you specialize in a certain dental area, you might be better positioned to make more money. These areas include 

  • Oral surgery,
  • Orthodontics, 
  • Pedodontics, 
  • Endodontics, and 
  • Periodontics.

However, with higher paying specialties usually comes higher responsibilities. Oral surgery dental assistants usually aid with patients under general anesthesia.

Pedontics and orthodontists can affect someone’s mouth and smile for life. So if you are considering one of these specialties, make sure you understand the responsibility that comes with it.

Similar to what specialty you chose, where you chose to live can also play a big role in dental assistant salary. Dental assistants in 

  • Alaska, 
  • Washington D.C., 
  • Massachusetts, 
  • Minnesota, 
  • New Hampshire, and
  • North Dakota

Make much more money than average dental assistant wages, according to a study by the American Dental Assistants Association. The highest-paid dental assistants live in Washington D.C.

However, even if you are just starting out and you live in an area where the average income is below average, a career as a dental assistant can still be fruitful.

The demand for dental assistants is growing, and if you are a fast-paced, passionate learner, you will likely earn a pay increase faster than you think.

Dental Assistant Job Growth

Between 2016 and 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for the dental assistant industry will be approximately 7%, which is faster than average.

This anticipated increase in demand makes sense. Dentists often don’t have time to clean their tools, sort patient files, and perform other administrative tasks.

Dental assistants take this burden off the dentist so they can focus on providing care to their patients.

Plus, as technology advances, the need for dental assistants will continue to grow.

The All Allied Health School notes that as technology allows for better teeth prosthetics, dentists’ office visits (and therefore the demand for dental assistants!) will surely increase.

So, being a dental assistant is a good job that generally requires a minimal amount of training. Is there any downside to that sweet dental assistant salary? 

Frankly, there’s very little.  Unless you don’t like working with people or working with mouths or teeth, there is no reason to skip over the work that dental assistants do.  

The question of ‘how much do dental assistants make an hour’ has been well-documented, tracked, and investigated, and there is plenty of money in the industry for those with the desire to work at earning it. 

Explore a Career as a Dental Assistant

If you’re looking to find a job that you can enjoy, one that will allow you to help people and give back to the community, and one that will pay decently, working as a dental assistant may be the job for you. 

The fast-paced work environment in a dentist’s office means that no two days are ever the same.

Most dental assistants report that they love their jobs, and they note that they are constantly learning and growing as professionals in their positions. Plus, most dental assistants really enjoy helping their fellow community members.

If that isn’t enough, the pay scale is decent, the work is important, and perhaps most importantly, the vast majority of work is performed indoors, in an air-conditioned environment. 

Our introductory course is a great starting point for people considering a career as an interior designer. Especially if you are hesitant for any reason, this course can help you determine whether a career as a dental assistant is right for you.

If you are ready to begin learning about a dental assistant career, enroll in our online course today!


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Explore a Dental Assistant Career

Explore a Dental Assistant Career

If you’re looking for a fulfilling career that allows you to help people, assist the community, and also pays well, get started by enrolling in Stratford’s dental assistant course today!