Dental Assistant Salary

Women account for the majority of Dental Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $15.06 per hour. Final cash compensation to Dental Assistants varies from around $22K to approximately $44K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $1K and $4K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by location, followed by the specific employer and tenure. Over a third enjoy medical while just over two-fifths get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to around an eighth. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$20,174 - $44,157
(Median)
$20K
$31K
$44K
MEDIAN: $30,962
10%
50%
90%

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$10.58 - $20.56
(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
$20,174 - $44,157  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,498  
Profit Sharing
$199.16 - $4,034  
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).
)
$22,013 - $43,508  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 901
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
$10.58 - $20.56  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.38  
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.66  
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 - $1,498  
   
Commission
$205.58 - $884  
Profit Sharing
$199.16 - $4,034  
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).
)
$22,013 - $43,508  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 10,183
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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 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. Becoming a Registered Dental Assistant or a Certified Dental Assistant is a common transition from a Dental Assistant role.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Assistant


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Dental Assistants include Family Dental, Aspen Dental, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental Care, and DDS Inc. Dr. B pays the most with a median salary of $38K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $17K to a high of $50K. DDS Inc., Family Dental Care, and Dental Associates also offer top salaries for Dental Assistants. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $35K, $35K, and $34K, respectively.

While select Comfort Dental employees may bring in up to $49K, a median salary of only $26K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department. Kool Smiles Pc., Smile Brands Inc, and Gentle Family Dentistry also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $26K, $26K, and $27K.

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, and Scheduling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Bilingual, Spanish Language, and Dental assistant. Those educated in Instrument Control tend to be well versed 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.


Dental Assistants do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $28K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $33K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Dental Assistants make a median salary of $37K. Dental Assistants who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $39K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Dental Assistants, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+17 percent), Denver (+13 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Atlanta (+8 percent). Los Angeles ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 14 percent below the national average. San Antonio and Orlando are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 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.

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Experience Affects Dental Assistant Salaries




National Average
$32,000


Skills That Affect Dental Assistant Salaries



Oral Surgery
up arrow 4%

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%

Dental assistant
up arrow 4%


Bilingual
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1753 votes.

Gender

Female
97 %
Male
3 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
37%
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: 42%
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