Dental Assistant Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Dental Assistants in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $15.06 per hour. With some bonuses approaching $2K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $4K, overall incomes of Dental Assistants spread between $22K and $44K depending on individual performance. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and years of experience are driving factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to over a third, and just over two-fifths earn dental coverage. For the most part, Dental Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$20,109 - $44,959
(Median)
$20K
$31K
$45K
MEDIAN: $31,140
10%
50%
90%

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$10.66 - $20.61
(Median)
$11
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $15.00
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$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$20,109 - $44,959  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,790  
Profit Sharing
$200.57 - $3,945  
Commission
$197.97 - $4,932  
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).
)
$22,207 - $43,631  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,106
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$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$10.66 - $20.61  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.75  
Overtime
$1.09 - $29.73  
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$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,790  
   
Commission
$197.97 - $4,932  
Profit Sharing
$200.57 - $3,945  
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).
)
$22,207 - $43,631  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 12,990
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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 often the next step for a Dental Assistant.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Assistant


Aspen Dental, Family Dental, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental Care, and Dental Group Ltd are among the top companies that take on many Dental Assistants. Pay for Dental Assistants is best at Great Expressions Dental Centers, which offers a median salary of $38K. However, the highest reported salaries don't seem to be much higher than the lowest ones; the pay range here runs from $25K to $41K. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks at Dr. B ($37K), DDS Inc. ($35K), and Family Dental Care ($35K).

Smile Brands Inc doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $26K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $35K and scope of pay is rather limited. Workers at Kool Smiles Pc., Gentle Dental, and Comfort Dental also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $26K, $27K, and $28K respectively.

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Periodontics, endodontics, and Oral Surgery 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 with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $28K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $33K. On average, Dental Assistants make $37K following one to two decades on the job. Dental Assistants who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $39K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $31,579

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

For those looking to make money, Dental Assistants in Seattle enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+16 percent), New York (+10 percent), Atlanta (+4 percent), and Austin (+1 percent). Falling short of the national average by 14 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Los Angeles. Employers in San Antonio and San Diego also lean toward paying below-median salaries (7 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Dental Assistant Reviews

What is it like working as a Dental Assistant?

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

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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%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

Radiology
0%

Instrument Control
0%

Customer Service
0%

Scheduling
0%

National Average
$32,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 2098 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 36%
dental benefits
Dental: 42%
medical benefits
Vision: 14%
dental benefits
None: 43%
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