Dental Assistant Salary

Women comprise the majority of Dental Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $15.20 per hour on average. Overall compensation packages to Dental Assistants range from $22K on the low end to $44K on the high end; this includes bonuses that peak near $3K and profit sharing that approaches $3K, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $5K. This group's pay is mainly influenced by residence, followed by experience level and the specific company. In this profession, close to a third enjoy medical and dental coverage, and nearly one-seventh have vision insurance, as well. Job satisfaction for Dental Assistants is high. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$18,586 - $45,381
$19K
$31K
$45K
MEDIAN: $31,015
10%
50%
90%

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$10.86 - $20.75
$11
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $15.20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$18,586 - $45,381  
   
Bonus
$197.51 - $3,058  
Profit Sharing
$200.67 - $3,297  
Commission
$98.63 - $4,949  
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).
)
$22,490 - $43,913  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 904
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$10.86 - $20.75  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $7.98  
Overtime
$14.40 - $30.28  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$197.51 - $3,058  
   
Commission
$98.63 - $4,949  
Profit Sharing
$200.67 - $3,297  
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).
)
$22,490 - $43,913  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 11,233

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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

  • Assist dentist during dental treatment procedures.
  • Maintain office records and supplies and schedule appointments.
  • Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Take and develop patient x-rays, including digital (if certified).
  • Sterilize instruments and equipment.

Common Career Paths for Dental Assistant


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For Dental Assistants, progressing to a Registered Dental Hygienist role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Registered Dental Hygienist can earn $67K annually. It is not uncommon for a Dental Assistant to continue 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


Dominating the field, Aspen Dental, Dental Group Ltd, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental, and Comfort Dental are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Dental Assistants. Dental Assistants flock to Heartland Dental Corporation for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $36K lead the pack in compensation; however, Heartland Dental Corporation also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $26K at one end to $60K at the other end. Other employers shelling out big bucks include DDS Inc., Dental Group Ltd, and Dr. B, where Dental Assistants typically earn around $33K, $33K, or $33K, respectively.

Gentle Family Dentistry seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $27K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $15K and $48K. Also approaching the lower end are Kool Smiles Pc. at $27K, Aspen Dental at $28K, and Pediatric Dental at $28K.

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, endodontics, Periodontics, and Oral Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Bilingual, Spanish Language, and Dental assistant. Most people skilled in Instrument Control are similarly competent in Patient Education and Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Dental Assistant

Pay by Experience for a Dental Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Dental Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $29,000 based on 6,837 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Dental Assistant with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $34,000 based on 2,883 salaries. An experienced Dental Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $37,000 based on 2,669 salaries. A Dental Assistant with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $40,000 based on 1,465 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $31,836

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Dental Assistants will find that Seattle offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 32 percent. Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+11 percent), Denver (+7 percent), Austin (+6 percent), and Atlanta (+6 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 11 percent south of the national average, can be found in Los Angeles. Employers also pay below the national average in San Diego (8 percent lower) and San Antonio (7 percent lower).

Dental Assistant Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistant in Shreveport:
"I love it!"
Pros: I love when I can make a fearful child calm down and have a better experience. Patience is key.
Cons: Tough on your hands and feet but worth it!

Dental Assistant in Ferndale:
"Duties as a dental assistant."
Pros: I love making crowns. The fact that I can do so much as the only dental assistant but I'm always stressed out.
Cons: That I'm getting paid less then what I am worth.

Dental Assistant in Cebu City:
"Challenging, hectic, love to deal different personality."
Pros: Learning new things & helping people/patient.
Cons: Hectic schedule.

Dental Assistant in Houston:
Pros: I love the surgery part. My job is very entertaining and I love the nervous patients that I can help calm down.
Cons: Nothing at all. I love my job!!!

Dental Assistant in Jonesboro:
"Dental Assistant."
Pros: I like that we are a close knit office. We work well together and we stay busy. It's a great learning environment with a lot of experienced help.
Cons: We work a little harder than the average dental assistant. We go above and beyond our certifications. Some days things can become a little stressful when the books are very busy.

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

Key Stats for Dental Assistant

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1475 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Dental Assistant Salaries

▲27%

▲17%

▲6%

National Average
$32,000

▼10%

Skills That Affect Dental Assistant Salaries


▲7%

▲6%

▲4%

▲3%




Radiology
▼0%

Customer Service
▼0%

Pediatrics
▼0%

National Average
$32,000




▼9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1475 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 34%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
vision benefits
Vision: 15%
no benefits
None: 48%
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