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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary (United States)

Most Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $16.85 per hour. In the world of Registered Dental Assistants, overall income ranges from $24K near the bottom to $49K at the top; this can include more than $2K from bonuses and more than $4K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Over a third report receiving medical coverage from their employers and just over two-fifths collect dental insurance. Most Registered Dental Assistants report high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary (?
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.
)
$19,821 - $47,568
(Median)
20K
25K
32K
40K
48K
MEDIAN: $32,391
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary (?
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.
)
$11.68 - $23.00
(Median)
12
14
17
20
23
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$19,821 - $47,568  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,545  
Profit Sharing
$310.94 - $4,027  
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).
)
$24,319 - $49,092  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 226
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$11.68 - $23.00  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.08 - $35.87  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,545  
   
Profit Sharing
$310.94 - $4,027  
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).
)
$24,319 - $49,092  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 3,476
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Job Description for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Registered dental assistants work alongside dentists to provide dental care for patients. Their duties are a mix of patient care, laboratory procedures, and clerical work. Exact responsibilities vary from state to state due to licensing requirements. Some patient-care tasks include setting up and sterilizing instruments, handing instruments to the dentist, preparing the patient for treatment, and educating patients on proper dental care. Many registered dental assistants also process dental x-rays, expose radiography, and perform lab duties such as making teeth casts and temporary crowns. Finally, registered dental assistants frequently work in administrative capacity. This includes scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, and processing patient bills and payments.
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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) 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 Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

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Registered 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. Becoming a Registered Expanded Function Dental Assistant or a Dental Hygienist is often the next step for a Registered Dental Assistant.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Registered Dental Assistants flock to Family Dental, Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Western Dental Services, Inc., Family Dental Care, and DDS Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. DDS Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $46K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Survey results imply that Registered Dental Assistants deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Leadership, Periodontics, Order Inventory, and CAD/CAM are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 9 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office. The majority of those who know Patient Education also know Order Inventory and Scheduling.

Pay by Experience Level for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $30K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $37K. Registered Dental Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $40K. 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 $42K on average.

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
$36,000
Modesto
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Santa Rosa offers some of the highest pay in the country for Registered Dental Assistants, 36 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+33 percent) and San Diego (+12 percent). Registered Dental Assistants in San Antonio make 21 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Fort Worth and Nashville (18 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively).

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Reviews

What is it like working as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)?
Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Halifax:
"I love being an assistant."
Pros: I like helping people and making them feel good about themselves and being able to put a smile on there face:)
Cons: It is sometimes difficult to find a good Dentist to work with!

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Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries

National Average
$36,000

Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries

up arrow 6%
Oral Surgery
up arrow 4%
Patient Education
up arrow 3%
Scheduling
up arrow 3%
Pedodontics
up arrow 3%
Radiology
up arrow 2%
Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 2%
Pediatrics
0%
National Average
$36,000
Spanish Language
up arrow 3%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 510 votes.

Gender

Female
96%
female alumni
 
Male
4%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 37% dental benefits Dental: 44%
vision benefits Vision: 13% employee benefits None: 40%