School Type:
Campus
Online  
Show All  
Select a Program of Interest:
Enter Your Zip/Postal Code:

Dental Assistant Careers

What Do Dental Assistants do?

Dental assistants perform a variety of tasks including recording patient medical histories, conducting basic cleanings, sterilizing equipment, preparing patients for dental procedures, and assisting the dentist during a procedure.

In order to become a dental assistant, students must go through a preparatory program that lasts anywhere from one to two years or more.

Many dental assistants learn many skills on-the-job, but it is important for students to have a basic understanding of the job requirements before finding employment, and many employers look for applicants who have prior experience or training.

Prospective dental assistants must work well with people, since they spend a lot of their time working directly with patients.

They must also have strong organizational skills and pay close attention to details.

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

The average dental assistant salary is between $27,000 and $32,000 yearly.

The rate of pay is most often dependent on years of training or experience, skill level, and education.

While a dental assistant who learned all of his or her skills on-the-job may start out earning only $27,000, the dental assistant who spends several years learning the tools of the trade and who demonstrates a strong understanding of the job may start out earning $29,000.

Dental assistant careers are expected to be widely available in the coming years as more and more people require dental care.


Dental Assistant Salaries by State:

StateTotal JobsAve. Per HourAve. Per Year
Alabama2,85013.9829,090
Alaska1,14020.2042,020
Arizona6,53016.3634,030
Arkansas2,62013.3227,700
California44,41016.9735,290
Colorado6,02018.3438,150
Connecticut3,76019.3240,180
Delaware75017.2735,930
Washington DC43022.9047,630
Florida14,77015.9633,210
Georgia7,94016.3033,910
Hawaii1,63014.6830,540
Idaho2,00014.7430,660
Illinois11,51016.0033,270
Indiana5,83016.4934,310
Iowa2,73016.3033,900
Kansas3,05015.4932,210
Kentucky4,02015.6932,640
Louisiana3,60013.8728,850
Maine89017.1535,670
Maryland4,85016.3333,970
Massachusetts6,69019.3040,150
Michigan9,35016.0933,460
Minnesota5,32019.7941,170
Mississippi2,22013.1627,380
Missouri5,11016.1033,490
Montana1,04014.8030,780
Nebraska1,96014.4129,980
Nevada2,68015.7132,670
New Hampshire1,54020.0241,640
New Jersey9,29017.9837,390
New Mexico2,06015.0331,270
New York16,73016.5534,430
North Carolina8,39017.2735,920
North Dakota57016.1133,520
Ohio9,77015.5032,250
Oklahoma3,68014.3329,800
Oregon4,75018.1537,750
Pennsylvania10,80015.0431,280
Rhode Island92017.1635,690
South Carolina3,50015.3731,970
South Dakota83014.1029,330
Tennessee5,22015.6432,530
Texas20,80015.2931,800
Utah4,21013.4427,950
Vermont54017.2635,900
Virginia7,71017.1535,660
Washington9,69018.3738,220
West Virginia1,39012.2625,500
Wisconsin5,46016.0533,380
Wyoming52015.0431,280
Guam18013.2627,570
Puerto Rico2,1908.3317,330
Virgin Islands7016.3734,060
Data compiled from US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Search by State