Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $17.35 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Registered Dental Assistants stretch from $25K on the lower end to $51K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $2K from bonuses and $4K from profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by the specific employer and tenure. Most Registered Dental Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. Over a third enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and nearly one in seven get vision benefits. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$21,682 - $50,072
(Median)
$22K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $34,045
10%
50%
90%

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$12.16 - $23.81
(Median)
$12
$17
$24
MEDIAN: $17.00
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$21,682 - $50,072  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,016  
Profit Sharing
$481.02 - $4,122  
Commission
$2,800  
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).
)
$25,402 - $50,655  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 240
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
$12.16 - $23.81  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.68  
Overtime
$15.19 - $36.64  
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
$0.00 - $2,016  
   
Commission
$2,800  
Profit Sharing
$481.02 - $4,122  
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).
)
$25,402 - $50,655  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,933
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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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At the upper end, Registered 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. Becoming a Registered Expanded Function Dental Assistant or a Dental Hygienist is often the next step for a Registered Dental Assistant.

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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 Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Family Dental, Western Dental Services, Inc., DDS Inc., and Family Dental Care. Registered Dental Assistants flock to DDS Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $46K lead the pack in compensation; however, DDS Inc. also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $29K at one end to $59K at the other end. Other leaders in compensation levels are Dr. B at $41K, Family Dental at $38K, and Dental Group Ltd, where Registered Dental Assistants annually earn $37K.

Western Dental Centers is infamous for dishing out the smallest paychecks in the area (the median in that office is $29K), but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $21K while workers on the upper end may rake in $45K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Western Dental Services, Inc. at $31K, and Family Dental Care where $33K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Registered Dental Assistants there earn up to $52K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Survey results imply that Registered Dental Assistants deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Leadership, Periodontics, and CAD/CAM are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 5 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft Office and Spanish Language. Most people who know Patient Education also know Order Inventory and Scheduling. Most people skilled in Radiology are similarly competent in 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $31K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $37K. Registered Dental Assistants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $41K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $44K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $36,482

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

For those looking to make money, Registered Dental Assistants in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Santa Rosa (+34 percent) and San Jose (+15 percent). San Antonio ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 17 percent below the national average. Nashville and Houston are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 14 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!

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries




National Average
$36,000


Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries



Periodontics
up arrow 4%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

CAD/CAM
up arrow 3%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

Insurance
up arrow 2%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 1%

Radiology
0%

Patient Education
0%

Scheduling
0%

Windows Operating System General Use
0%

National Average
$36,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 636 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 38%
dental benefits
Dental: 42%
medical benefits
Vision: 14%
dental benefits
None: 42%
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