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Dental Assistant Salary

Women comprise the majority of Dental Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $14.96 per hour on average. Total cash compensation for Dental Assistants runs from $22K to $43K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $1K and profit sharing that can reach almost $4K. While geography and years of experience impact pay for this group, the specific employer is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction for Dental Assistants is high. Medical benefits are awarded to over a third, and just over two-fifths earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$19,944 - $42,983
(Median)
20K
24K
31K
37K
43K
MEDIAN: $30,589
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$10.45 - $20.44
(Median)
10
12
15
18
20
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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
$19,944 - $42,983  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,446  
Profit Sharing
$198.27 - $4,055  
Commission
$198.32 - $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).
)
$21,794 - $43,244  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 739
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
$10.45 - $20.44  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.43  
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.83  
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 - $1,446  
   
Commission
$198.32 - $884  
Profit Sharing
$198.27 - $4,055  
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).
)
$21,794 - $43,244  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 8,051
United States (change)

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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Registered Dental Hygienist. The average Registered Dental Hygienist bring home $67K per year. A Dental Assistant often moves on to become a Registered Dental Assistant or a Certified Dental Assistant.

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 Pacific Dental Services Incorporated. Employees of DDS Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $41K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $27K to $55K. Also paying near the top of the field are Pacific Dental Services Incorporated at $36K, Dr. B at $36K, and Family Dental Care, where Dental Assistants annually earn $35K.

The pay scale is far from balanced at Kool Smiles Pc.. While salaries on one end can reach $31K, the company's median pay sits at $25K, the lowest in the field. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Comfort Dental at $26K, and Gentle Family Dentistry where $27K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Dental Assistants there earn up to $48K.

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Survey results imply that Dental Assistants deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, and Orthodontics are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 8 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Bilingual, Dental assistant, and Spanish Language. Most people experienced in 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.


Dental Assistants do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. 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. Dental Assistants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $36K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $39K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Dental Assistants, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 22 percent greater than the national average. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+16 percent), New York (+11 percent), Denver (+11 percent), and Atlanta (+7 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Los Angeles, 15 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Phoenix and San Antonio (6 percent lower and 5 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

Experience Affects Dental Assistant Salaries




National Average
$31,000


Skills That Affect Dental Assistant Salaries




Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

Radiology
up arrow 2%

Patient Education
up arrow 2%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

endodontics
up arrow 2%

General Dentistry
up arrow 2%

Instrument Control
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Pediatrics
0%

National Average
$31,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 4%

Dental assistant
up arrow 7%

Bilingual
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1548 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

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: 44%
vision benefits Vision: 13% employee benefits None: 41%