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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 $15.53 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 about one in seven get vision plans. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,544 - $50,050
(Median)
$26K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $34,107
10%
50%
90%

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$11.07 - $20.83
(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
$25,544 - $50,050  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,775  
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).
)
$23,631 - $44,727  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 49
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$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$11.07 - $20.83  
   
Overtime
$0.39 - $30.57  
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$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,775  
   
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).
)
$23,631 - $44,727  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 403

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United States (change)


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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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Registered Dental Hygienist. The latter position pays an average of $67K annually. It is quite typical for Certified Dental Assistants to transition into roles as Expanded Functions Dental Assistants or Registered Dental Assistants, where reported median earnings are $3K and $2K higher per year.

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Popular Skills for Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)


Professional skills reported by Certified Dental Assistants are few in number. Those familiar with Orthodontics, Oral Surgery and Radiology will likely experience a boost in pay, earning between 4 percent to 8 percent above the national average. Most people 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. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $29K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $34K. Certified Dental Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $38K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $39K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries



Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$33,000


Skills That Affect Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Salaries


Radiology
up arrow 4%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 4%

National Average
$33,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 57 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 43% dental benefits Dental: 44%
vision benefits Vision: 15% employee benefits None: 37%
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