How Much Money Does a Dental Assistant Make?

The Median Annual Salary of Dental Assistants

According to The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median expected annual salary is $36,940 for dental assistants and $72,910 for dental hygienists. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

What is my earning potential?

Your earning potential in dental assisting will depend on factors like where you live, experience and the degree you hold. While dental technician or assistant jobs may only require a high school diploma, earning a dental assistant certificate can help boost your earning potential nonetheless.

How do dental assistant salaries compare?

Health Care CareerMedian Annual Salary*
Dental Assistants$36,940
Dental Hygienists$72,910
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides$56,070
Physician Assistants$101,480
Medical Assistants$31,540
Pharmacy Technicians$30,920

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Therapy Assistants and AidesPhysician AssistantsMedical AssistantsPharmacy Technicians.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Is there demand for this career?

Because people in dental assisting roles are so essential to running a dentistry practice, these types of careers are always in demand. Most dentists are too busy to tackle administrative tasks, exam prep or teeth cleaning, making dental assisting roles so important.

If you’re interested in becoming a dental technician, the demand for this career is sure to grow as better technology is developed for crafting dental prosthetics.

What is the job growth for dental assisting?

According to the Dental Assisting National Board, dental assisting is one of the top 25 fastest-growing jobs in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) paints a similar picture, predicting that employment of dental assistants is likely to grow by about 19 percent between 2016 and 2026. The BLS expects employment of dental hygienists to grow 20 percent over the same time span. By comparison, all other occupations in the U.S. are expected to grow 7 percent through 2026.

Ready to get started?

Because dental assistant training is relatively quick to complete, it’s an especially appealing choice for nontraditional students and those wishing to make a career change. Use the “Find Schools” button below to search for dental assistant programs near you.

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