Dental Assistant Salary

Women account for the majority of Dental Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $15.05 per hour. Total cash earnings of Dental Assistants range from $22K on the low end to $44K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $2K and $4K, respectively. While the company and tenure impact pay for this group, residence is the most influential factor. More than a third report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than two-fifths collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$20,207 - $44,355

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$10.59 - $20.57

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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
$20,207 - $44,355  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,502  
Profit Sharing
$199.00 - $4,041  
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).
)
$22,031 - $43,531  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 911
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
$10.59 - $20.57  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.38  
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.66  
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 - $1,502  
   
Commission
$205.58 - $884  
Profit Sharing
$199.00 - $4,041  
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).
)
$22,031 - $43,531  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 10,360
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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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At the upper end, Dental Assistants who move into a Registered Dental Hygienist role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Registered Dental Hygienists is a much higher $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


Dental Assistants fill the offices of leading firms 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. Other big spenders include DDS Inc., Family Dental Care, and Dental Associates, top-paying firms where Dental Assistants see paychecks nearing $35K, $35K, or $34K.

Offering a median of only $26K, Kool Smiles Pc. pays the least. Moreover, the compensation range seems pretty narrow; employees make $17K on the lower end and $36K on the higher end. Other low-paying employers include Smile Brands Inc at $26K and Comfort Dental at $26K, though some Dental Assistants there earn up to $49K.

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Survey results imply that Dental Assistants deploy 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 4 percent and 7 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Spanish Language and Bilingual. 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Dental Assistants — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $28K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $33K. For Dental Assistants, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $37K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $39K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Dental Assistants, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 25 percent greater than the national average. Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+17 percent), New York (+12 percent), Denver (+11 percent), and Atlanta (+8 percent). In Los Angeles, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. San Antonio and Orlando are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 6 percent lower and 2 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%

Scheduling
up arrow 4%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

endodontics
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 3%

Bilingual
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1768 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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