Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are largely women. The group as a whole has a nationwide average of $17.74 per hour for pay. Total cash compensation for Registered Dental Assistants runs from $26K to $52K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $4K and profit sharing that can reach almost $3K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though tenure and the specific company have a (lesser) impact as well. Roughly two-fifths enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and about one in six get vision benefits. Job satisfaction for Registered Dental Assistants is high. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$22,076 - $51,355
$22K
$33K
$51K
MEDIAN: $33,125
10%
50%
90%

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$12.56 - $24.58
$13
$18
$25
MEDIAN: $17.74
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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$22,076 - $51,355  
   
Bonus
$198.88 - $3,590  
Profit Sharing
$958 - $2,990  
Commission
$600  
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).
)
$26,063 - $51,801  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 215
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.56 - $24.58  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.14  
Overtime
$18.09 - $36.13  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$198.88 - $3,590  
   
Commission
$600  
Profit Sharing
$958 - $2,990  
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).
)
$26,063 - $51,801  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 3,165

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United States (change)

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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

  • Assist dentist during dental treatment procedures.
  • Maintain office records and supplies and schedule appointments.
  • Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Take and develop patient x-rays, including digital (if certified).
  • Sterilize instruments and equipment.

Common Career Paths for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


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Registered 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 Expanded Function Dental Assistant or a Dental Hygienist is a common transition from a Registered Dental Assistant role.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Many Registered Dental Assistants can be found at Family Dental, Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Western Dental Services, Inc., Family Dental Care, and DDS Inc., firms that are at the top of the field. Those at Gentle Dental can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $43K. Also paying near the top of the field are Dr. B at $41K, Pediatric Dental at $38K, and Family Dental, where Registered Dental Assistants annually earn $38K.

Western Dental Services, Inc. offers the least money; the median income there is just $31K. The pay range is also pretty narrow, as compensation generally sits between $24K and $43K. Other low-paying employers include Western Dental Centers at $32K and Family Dental Care at $33K, though some Registered Dental Assistants there earn up to $52K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Registered Dental Assistants seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Leadership, Office Administration, and CAD/CAM are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Spanish Language, and Pediatrics. Those familiar with Patient Education also tend to know Order Inventory and Scheduling. Those who learned Radiology also tend to know Scheduling and Order Inventory.

Pay by Experience Level for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Registered Dental Assistants, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $32K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $38K. On average, Registered Dental Assistants make $41K following one to two decades on the job. Registered Dental Assistants who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $46K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,164

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

For Registered Dental Assistants, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 38 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Santa Rosa (+32 percent), San Jose (+19 percent), Torrance (+8 percent), and San Diego (+7 percent). The lowest-paying market is Houston, which sits 18 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 15 percent less in San Antonio and 14 percent less in Austin, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 426 votes.
031
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
18%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries




up arrow 2%


Patient Education
0%

Oral Surgery
0%

Windows Operating System General Use
0%

Insurance
0%

National Average
$37,000







Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 426 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 41%
vision benefits
Vision: 16%
dental benefits
None: 43%
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