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 $15.75 per hour. For the most part, Certified Dental Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. More than two-fifths receive medical and dental insurance and roughly a seventh get vision plans. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$25,659 - $49,585
(Median)
$26K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $34,380
10%
50%
90%

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$11.51 - $20.97
(Median)
$12
$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 - $1,541  
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).
)
$24,333 - $44,791  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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
$11.51 - $20.97  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.36  
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
$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).
)
$24,333 - $44,791  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 357
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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. Typical career progression for a Certified Dental Assistant involves becoming an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant or a Registered Dental Assistant, roles that pay $2K more and $1K more on average.

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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)


Certified Dental Assistants report a focused set of job skills. Those who have experience with Orthodontics, Radiology, and Oral Surgery can expect to be compensated well for these skills. 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.


Certified Dental Assistants do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $30K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $34K. On average, Certified Dental Assistants make $38K following one to two decades on the job. 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 $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 3%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 2%

National Average
$33,000

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
5%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 42% dental benefits Dental: 45%
vision benefits Vision: 14% employee benefits None: 37%
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