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Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary (United States)

Most Certified Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $15.10 per hour. Just under one-half enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and about a seventh get vision benefits. Most Certified Dental Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$23,247 - $45,585
(Median)
23K
32K
37K
46K
MEDIAN: $31,790
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.71 - $20.46
(Median)
11
13
15
18
20
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$23,247 - $45,585  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,541  
Profit Sharing
$500 - $4,069  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$22,661 - $43,387  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 58
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$10.71 - $20.46  
   
Overtime
$5.70 - $28.46  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,541  
   
Profit Sharing
$500 - $4,069  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$22,661 - $43,387  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 525
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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.
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Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Tasks
  • Take and develop patient x-rays, including digital (if certified).
  • Sterilize instruments and equipment.
  • Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Assist dentist during dental treatment procedures.
  • Maintain office records and supplies and schedule appointments.

Common Career Paths for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

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Compensation may increase greatly for Certified Dental Assistants who advance to upper-end positions like Registered Dental Hygienist. Median pay for Registered Dental Hygienists is $67K per year. When Certified Dental Assistants are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Expanded Functions Dental Assistants or Registered Dental Assistants. Those roles pay an additional $3K and $2K, respectively.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

Typical Certified Dental Assistants report a focused set of job skills. Orthodontics and Radiology are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 7 percent and 4 percent respectively. For most people, competency in Oral Surgery indicates knowledge of Orthodontics.

Pay by Experience Level for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $29K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $33K. Certified Dental Assistants bring in $37K after working for 10 to 20 years. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $38K. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field — more than half of those surveyed fit this bill. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up just under a fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining roughly a seventh.

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Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 18%
Experienced
up arrow 16%
Mid-Career
up arrow 3%
National Average
$32,000

Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Orthodontics
up arrow 7%
Radiology
up arrow 4%
Oral Surgery
up arrow 2%
National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 56 votes.

Gender

Female
95%
female alumni
 
Male
5%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 47% dental benefits Dental: 47%
vision benefits Vision: 14% employee benefits None: 32%