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Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salary

Certified Dental Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $15.33 per hour. Medical and dental coverage is claimed by more than two-fifths, and close to a seventh earn vision coverage. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$24,156 - $46,893
(Median)
24K
33K
39K
47K
MEDIAN: $32,768
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$11.06 - $20.56
(Median)
11
13
15
18
21
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
$24,156 - $46,893  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
Profit Sharing
$972 - $4,112  
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).
)
$23,381 - $44,171  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 56
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
$11.06 - $20.56  
   
Overtime
$1.21 - $29.89  
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 - $1,957  
   
Profit Sharing
$972 - $4,112  
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).
)
$23,381 - $44,171  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 463
United States (change)

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 transition into an upper level Registered Dental Hygienist role may receive a large increase in pay as the position pays an average $67K per year. A common career progression for a Certified Dental Assistant is to become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant or a Registered Dental Assistant. Compared to Certified Dental Assistants, the first group earns $3K more on average, and the second group earns $2K more.

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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. Those who have experience with Orthodontics, Radiology, and Oral Surgery can expect to be compensated well for these skills, typically earning between 3 percent to 12 percent more than the national 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $29K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $33K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Certified Dental Assistants who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $37K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $39K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%


Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$32,000


Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Orthodontics
up arrow 12%


Oral Surgery
up arrow 3%

National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 55 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 45% dental benefits Dental: 47%
vision benefits Vision: 15% employee benefits None: 33%