Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary
Most Certified Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $17.16 per hour. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. More than a third enjoy medical while nearly one-half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to close to a tenth. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
Certified dental assistants increase the efficiency of dentists by preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing dental instruments, passing instruments to dentists during a procedure, taking and developing radiographs (x-rays), and taking impressions of patients' teeth. Dental assistants have a variety of interpersonal and technical tasks within a dental office and therefore require versatile and adaptive individuals. It is a great professional career for a person who is interested in dental care but does not want to go through more the rigorous training and years of schooling required of dentists or dental hygienists.Read More...
Dental assistants must have effective communication skills with patients. They ask the patient their medical history, take the patient's pulse and blood pressure, and make the patient feel comfortable before and after a procedure. On the administrative side, dental assistants' duties include scheduling appointments with patients, communicating with suppliers, billing and ordering supplies, and answering the phone.
Qualifications for dental assistants vary by state. Some states do not require a college degree, while others require the dental assistant to be certified and registered. The group responsible for accreditation of dental assistants is the Commission of Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Dental assistant certifications require passing a comprehensive exam called the Dental Assisting National Board's Certified Dental Assistant Examination.
Dental assistants work inside a dental office. Dental practices range from solo practices to clinics, schools, and group practices. The environment must be clean and sterile with strict hygiene standards typical of most medical facilities. Certified Dental Assistant and CDA are trademarks of Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB).
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Tasks
- Assist dentist during dental treatment procedures.
- Maintain office records and supplies and schedule appointments.
- Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
- Take and develop patient x-rays, including digital (if certified).
- Sterilize instruments and equipment.
Common Career Paths for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
For Certified Dental Assistants, progressing to a Registered Dental Hygienist role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Registered Dental Hygienist can earn $67K annually. A Certified Dental Assistant may also move into a role as an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant or a Registered Dental Assistant.
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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
Certified Dental Assistants who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Oral Surgery, Pediatrics, Orthodontics, and Radiology are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people familiar with Oral Surgery also know Orthodontics.
Pay by Experience Level for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Certified Dental Assistants, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $31K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $37K. For Certified Dental Assistants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $40K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $45K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.
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Key Stats for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
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