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 $17.21 per hour. Medical benefits are awarded to over a third, and approximately half earn dental coverage. Most Certified Dental Assistants report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$27,148 - $51,607
$27K
$34K
$52K
MEDIAN: $33,983
10%
50%
90%

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$12.16 - $23.88
$12
$17
$24
MEDIAN: $17.21
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
$27,148 - $51,607  
   
Bonus
$97.87 - $3,064  
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).
)
$25,490 - $50,054  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 15
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$12.16 - $23.88  
   
Overtime
$23.72  
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$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$97.87 - $3,064  
   
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).
)
$25,490 - $50,054  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 186
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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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

  • 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)


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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. It is not uncommon for a Certified Dental Assistant to continue on to become a Dental Assistant or an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant.

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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)


Typical Certified Dental Assistants report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Pediatrics, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, and Radiology are correlated to pay that is above average. The majority of those who know 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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $31K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $37K. Certified Dental Assistants bring in $40K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $44K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

Gender

Female
99 %
Male
1 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
16%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

▲22%

▲13%

▲3%

National Average
$36,000

▼12%

Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries

Pediatrics
▲11%

▲9%

National Average
$36,000

▼1%

▼2%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.

Gender

Female
99 %
Male
1 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 37%
dental benefits
Dental: 51%
vision benefits
Vision: 12%
dental benefits
None: 37%
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