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 $16.38 per hour. Nearly two in five enjoy medical while a little less than one-half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to one-eighth. The majority of Certified Dental Assistants claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$25,549 - $53,564
(Median)
$26K
$34K
$54K
MEDIAN: $34,385
10%
50%
90%

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$11.91 - $21.41
(Median)
$12
$16
$21
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$25,549 - $53,564  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,524  
Profit Sharing
$983  
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).
)
$25,003 - $45,419  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 41
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$11.91 - $21.41  
   
Overtime
$0.27 - $31.33  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,524  
   
Profit Sharing
$983  
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).
)
$25,003 - $45,419  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 295
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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 transition into a Registered Dental Hygienist role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $67K per year. Becoming an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant or a Registered Dental Assistant is often the next step for a Certified 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 Pediatrics, Orthodontics, Oral Surgery, and Radiology are correlated to pay that is above average. Those educated in Oral Surgery tend to be well versed in 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 $30K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $35K. Certified Dental Assistants who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $38K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $40K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

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Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries




National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Pediatrics
up arrow 14%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 2%

Orthodontics
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

National Average
$34,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 59 votes.

Gender

Female
94 %
Male
6 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 46%
medical benefits
Vision: 12%
dental benefits
None: 39%
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