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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Most Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $17.07 per hour. Total cash compensation to Registered Dental Assistants approaches anywhere from $25K on the lower end to $50K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $2K from bonuses and upwards of $4K from profit sharing. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geographic location, but the company and experience level are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to more than a third, and more than two-fifths earn dental coverage. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$19,981 - $49,217
(Median)
$20K
$33K
$49K
MEDIAN: $32,769
10%
50%
90%

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$11.95 - $23.26
(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
$19,981 - $49,217  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,921  
Profit Sharing
$307.01 - $3,959  
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).
)
$24,877 - $49,604  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 219
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
$11.95 - $23.26  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.44 - $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 - $1,921  
   
Profit Sharing
$307.01 - $3,959  
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).
)
$24,877 - $49,604  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,528

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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

  • 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 go on to become Registered Dental Hygienists may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Registered Dental Hygienists is $67K annually. 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 Western Dental Centers are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Registered Dental Assistants. The biggest paychecks can be found at DDS Inc. — the median salary there is $46K.

Although Western Dental Centers hands out the lowest average salary in town at $28K, employee compensation still varies greatly; workers can make as little as $21K or as much as $43K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Registered Dental Assistants — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $30K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $37K. Registered Dental Assistants claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $40K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $43K.

Pay Difference by Location


Santa Rosa offers some of the highest pay in the country for Registered Dental Assistants, 37 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+30 percent) and San Jose (+12 percent). Compared to the national average, San Antonio Registered Dental Assistants have considerably lower salaries, 20 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Nashville and Houston (14 percent lower and 11 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

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%

Orthodontics
up arrow 4%

Insurance
up arrow 4%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 3%

Office Administration
up arrow 3%

Scheduling
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 1%

Pediatrics
0%

National Average
$36,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 556 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
16%

Common Health Benefits

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