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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Registered Dental Assistants in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $16.98 per hour. In the world of Registered Dental Assistants, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $2K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $4K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $25K and $49K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geography, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to over a third, and just over two-fifths earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Registered Dental Assistants. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$19,819 - $48,846
(Median)
$20K
$33K
$49K
MEDIAN: $32,703
10%
50%
90%

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$11.91 - $23.15
(Median)
$12
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
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
$19,819 - $48,846  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,928  
Profit Sharing
$309.97 - $3,898  
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).
)
$24,795 - $49,385  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 223
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
$11.91 - $23.15  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.56 - $35.89  
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 - $1,928  
   
Profit Sharing
$309.97 - $3,898  
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).
)
$24,795 - $49,385  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,490

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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 who transition into a Registered Dental Hygienist role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $67K per year. It is not unusual for a Registered Dental Assistant to become a Registered Expanded Function Dental Assistant or a Dental Hygienist.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Registered Dental Assistants include Family Dental, Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Western Dental Services, Inc., Family Dental Care, and Western Dental Centers. Registered Dental Assistants flock to DDS Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $46K lead the pack in compensation.

Western Dental Centers offers the lowest pay, with a median salary of just $28K. The pay scale doesn't vary widely, either; compensation ranges from $21K to $43K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Registered Dental Assistants report using a large range 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 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Office. Those proficient in Patient Education are, more often than not, also skilled in 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. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $30K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $37K. Registered Dental Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $40K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $43K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Registered Dental Assistants, Santa Rosa provides a pay rate that is 36 percent greater than the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+29 percent) and San Jose (+11 percent). Trailing the national average by 19 percent, Fort Worth is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers pay around 19 percent less in San Antonio and 13 percent less in Nashville, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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!

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries




National Average
$36,000


Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries





up arrow 5%

Insurance
up arrow 4%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 3%

Office Administration
up arrow 3%

Patient Education
up arrow 2%

Scheduling
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 1%

Pediatrics
0%

National Average
$36,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 555 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 37% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 13% employee benefits None: 41%