Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary

Most Certified Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $15.67 per hour. Work is enjoyable for Certified Dental Assistants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Close to two-fifths report receiving medical and dental coverage from their employers and nearly one-eighth collect vision insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$25,659 - $49,585
(Median)
$26K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $34,107
10%
50%
90%

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$11.29 - $20.82
(Median)
$11
$16
$21
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$25,659 - $49,585  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,528  
Profit Sharing
$650 - $4,000  
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).
)
$24,158 - $44,587  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 51
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
$11.29 - $20.82  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $28.91  
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 - $1,528  
   
Profit Sharing
$650 - $4,000  
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).
)
$24,158 - $44,587  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 363
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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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Certified Dental Assistants who go on to become Registered Dental Hygienists may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Registered Dental Hygienists is $67K annually. Certified Dental Assistants most often move into positions as Expanded Functions Dental Assistants or Registered Dental Assistants; those groups report median salaries that are $2K higher and $1K higher, respectively.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)


Professional skills reported by Certified Dental Assistants are few in number. Most notably, facility with Orthodontics, Radiology, and Oral Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average, leading to increases ranging from 3 percent to 6 percent. Most people experienced in 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.


Certified Dental Assistants with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $30K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $34K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Certified Dental Assistants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $38K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $39K.

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Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries




National Average
$33,000


Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries


Radiology
up arrow 4%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 3%

National Average
$33,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 54 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 41% dental benefits Dental: 45%
vision benefits Vision: 13% employee benefits None: 38%
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