Dental Assistant Salary

Most Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $15.05 per hour. In the world of Dental Assistants, overall income ranges from $22K near the bottom to $43K at the top; this can include more than $1K from bonuses and more than $4K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Location is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and tenure are driving factors as well. Work is enjoyable for Dental Assistants, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Over a third enjoy medical while just over two-fifths get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to close to an eighth. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$20,101 - $43,162
(Median)
$20K
$31K
$43K
MEDIAN: $30,881
10%
50%
90%

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$10.56 - $20.53
(Median)
$11
$15
$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$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$20,101 - $43,162  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,476  
Profit Sharing
$197.44 - $4,466  
Commission
$205.58 - $884  
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).
)
$21,988 - $43,420  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 813
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
$10.56 - $20.53  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.03  
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.78  
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 - $1,476  
   
Commission
$205.58 - $884  
Profit Sharing
$197.44 - $4,466  
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).
)
$21,988 - $43,420  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 8,987

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Job Description for Dental Assistant

A dental assistant's duties include hands-on work with dental patients, assisting the dentist, and/or performing clerical functions in a dental clinic. Depending on an individual’s certification and goals, any of these are possible job tasks. If an individual would like hands-on work in the dentist’s office, their duties may include prepping the patient for a particular operation; this particular duty would involve knowledge of the teeth and most dental procedures. The dental assistant would then assist the dentist in performing the operation, and do such things as handing the dentist the required tools and providing secondary support. This kind of job usually entails working one-on-one with the dentist, and requires good communication skills.

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Dental Assistant 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 Dental Assistant


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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 a Registered Dental Assistant or a Certified Dental Assistant is often the next step for a Dental Assistant.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Assistant


Family Dental, Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental Care, and Pacific Dental Services Incorporated are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Dental Assistants. Dr. B does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $38K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $17K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $50K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include DDS Inc., Family Dental Care, and Dental Associates, where Dental Assistants typically earn around $36K, $35K, or $34K, respectively.

The consistently lowest paying firm is Kool Smiles Pc., where the median salary is just $26K. There isn't much variation there, either; the pay scale ranges only from $17K to $35K. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Comfort Dental ($26K), Smile Brands Inc ($27K), and Gentle Family Dentistry ($27K).

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Oral Surgery, Periodontics, and Scheduling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Bilingual, Dental assistant, and Spanish Language. Most people skilled in Instrument Control are similarly competent in Patient Education and Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Dental Assistant

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. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $28K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $33K. On average, Dental Assistants make $36K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $39K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Dental Assistants, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 22 percent above the national average. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+19 percent), New York (+11 percent), Denver (+10 percent), and Atlanta (+7 percent). Falling short of the national average by 18 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Los Angeles. Employers in San Antonio and Phoenix also lean toward paying below-median salaries (5 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

Dental Assistant Reviews

What is it like working as a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistant in Coquille:
"Ever changing Environment."
Pros: The technology that the industry is developing and the newer practices that make dentistry more profitable and more comfortable for the patient.
Cons: Management techniques from my employer.

Dental Assistant in Wickliffe:
Pros: Staff that I work with and what my position consists of on a daily basis.
Cons: Only suppose to work 8 am to 5pm but always work till like 6 30 not having some kind of stability in our schedule no flexibility.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Dental Assistant Salaries




National Average
$32,000


Skills That Affect Dental Assistant Salaries




Scheduling
up arrow 5%

endodontics
up arrow 4%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

Patient Education
up arrow 2%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Instrument Control
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
0%

National Average
$32,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 4%

Dental assistant
up arrow 6%

Bilingual
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1723 votes.

Gender

Female
97 %
Male
3 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 36% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 13% employee benefits None: 41%