Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Women comprise the majority of Registered Dental Assistants in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $17.17 per hour on average. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $2K and $4K, respectively — total cash payment to Registered Dental Assistants can bottom out near $25K or peak near $50K depending on individual performance. While the specific employer and years of experience impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. 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 data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$20,538 - $49,929
(Median)
$21K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $33,801
10%
50%
90%

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$12.00 - $23.40
(Median)
$12
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $17.00
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
$20,538 - $49,929  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,961  
Profit Sharing
$308.37 - $3,931  
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).
)
$25,019 - $49,858  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 218
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.00 - $23.40  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.62 - $36.06  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,961  
   
Profit Sharing
$308.37 - $3,931  
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).
)
$25,019 - $49,858  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,586
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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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As Registered Dental Assistants transition into upper-level roles such as Registered Dental Hygienist, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Registered Dental Hygienists earn $67K on average per year. A Registered Dental Assistant often moves on 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)


Family Dental, Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Western Dental Services, Inc., Family Dental Care, and DDS Inc. are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Registered Dental Assistants. Employees of DDS Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $46K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $29K to $63K.

While select Western Dental Centers employees may bring in up to $43K, a median salary of only $28K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Leadership, Order Inventory, Periodontics, and CAD/CAM are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 6 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office. It is often found that people who know Patient Education are 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.


Registered Dental Assistants with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $31K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $37K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Registered Dental Assistants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $40K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $43K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location


For Registered Dental Assistants, working in the bustling city of Santa Rosa has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+30 percent) and San Jose (+14 percent). San Antonio is the lowest-paying area, 20 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Nashville (14 percent less) and Houston (12 percent less).

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




CAD/CAM
up arrow 4%

Insurance
up arrow 4%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 2%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

Scheduling
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 1%

National Average
$36,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 564 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 37% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 14% employee benefits None: 42%
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