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Dental Assistant Salary

Most Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $15.04 per hour. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $1K and $4K, respectively — total cash payment to Dental Assistants can bottom out near $22K or peak near $43K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though geography and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Over a third enjoy medical while just over two-fifths get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to approximately one-eighth. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$20,032 - $43,487
(Median)
$20K
$31K
$43K
MEDIAN: $30,936
10%
50%
90%

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$10.56 - $20.54
(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
$20,032 - $43,487  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,486  
Profit Sharing
$198.49 - $4,156  
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).
)
$21,970 - $43,455  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 849
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 - $20.54  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.38  
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.80  
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 - $1,486  
   
Commission
$205.58 - $884  
Profit Sharing
$198.49 - $4,156  
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).
)
$21,970 - $43,455  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 9,405

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United States (change)


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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. A Dental Assistant may also move into a role as a Registered Dental Assistant or a Certified Dental Assistant.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants flock to Family Dental, Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental Care, and Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. 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. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at DDS Inc. ($36K), Family Dental Care ($35K), and Dental Associates ($34K).

Offering a median salary of only $26K, Kool Smiles Pc. gives out the smallest paychecks. Furthermore, the earnings range of $17K to $35K isn't that wide, either. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Comfort Dental ($26K), Smile Brands Inc ($27K), and Gentle Family Dentistry ($27K).

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, and Scheduling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 7 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Bilingual, Spanish Language, and Dental assistant. Most people familiar with Instrument Control also know 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.


For 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. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $28K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $33K. Dental Assistants bring in $36K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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


Surpassing the national average by 24 percent, Dental Assistants in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+18 percent), New York (+10 percent), Denver (+9 percent), and Atlanta (+6 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Los Angeles, 15 percent below the national average. Employers in San Antonio and Phoenix also lean toward paying below-median salaries (6 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




endodontics
up arrow 4%

Scheduling
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 4%

Bilingual
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1730 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%
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