Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $17.93 per hour. Total cash compensation to Registered Dental Assistants approaches anywhere from $26K on the lower end to $52K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $3K from bonuses and upwards of $4K from profit sharing. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — experience level and the individual firm are driving factors as well. The majority of Registered Dental Assistants claim high levels of job satisfaction. About two in five have medical and dental plans, and about a sixth have vision insurance. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$22,236 - $50,840
$22K
$34K
$51K
MEDIAN: $34,232
10%
50%
90%

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$12.75 - $24.73
$13
$18
$25
MEDIAN: $17.93
10%
50%
90%

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$0$52K
Salary $22,236 - $50,840
Bonus $201.73 - $3,076
Profit Sharing $979 - $4,000
Commission $4,500
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).
)
$26,448 - $52,039
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 212
Hourly Data $0$35
Hourly Rate $12.75 - $24.73
Hourly Tips $0.29
Overtime $18.41 - $35.86
Annual Data $0$52K
Bonus $201.73 - $3,076
Commission $4,500
Profit Sharing $979 - $4,000
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).
)
$26,448 - $52,039
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,001

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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 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.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Job Listings

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. Gentle Dental offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $43K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Dr. B, Pediatric Dental, and Family Dental, top-paying firms where Registered Dental Assistants rake in a respectable $41K, $38K, or $38K, respectively.

While select Western Dental Services, Inc. employees may bring in up to $43K, a median salary of only $31K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Family Dental Care ($33K), Western Dental Centers ($33K), and Dental Office ($35K).

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Survey takers working as Registered Dental Assistants report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Leadership, Office Administration, and CAD/CAM are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Office, Spanish Language, and Pediatrics. The majority of those 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)

Pay by Experience for a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) has a positive trend. An entry-level Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $32,000 based on 1,348 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $38,000 based on 877 salaries. An experienced Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $41,000 based on 1,072 salaries. A Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $45,000 based on 597 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,635

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

Surpassing the national average by 37 percent, Registered Dental Assistants in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Registered Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Rosa (+23 percent), San Jose (+16 percent), San Diego (+6 percent), and Sacramento (+2 percent). Trailing the national average by 20 percent, Houston is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Bakersfield and San Antonio also lean toward paying below-median salaries (17 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)?

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Lakeport:
"I love my job, patients and helpingpeople."
Pros: Helping people patient care getting hands-on experience learning new things everyday.
Cons: Pay. Trust.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Pinole:
Pros: Working with kids and helping them over come their fear of their appointment.
Cons: Low pay and cutting back my hours due to patients cancelling appointments or rescheduling their appointments.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in San Diego:
"The Good, The Bad, The Ugly."
Pros: The patients and helping them to attain better dental health.
Cons: Sometimes I feel like I work at a used car lot.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Houston:
"I Love it. Great career choice."
Pros: That I am mainly an endodontic assistant. My favorite procedure to assist in.
Cons: No complaints.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in West Covina:
"Love being able to not assitant and be able to do hands on."
Pros: I love being able to meet different patients being able to help the doctor and being able to keep learning new things.
Cons: Not having a little more time with patients sometimes.

Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Walnut Creek:
"Love what I do as a profession."
Pros: Patient care.
Cons: Dealing with a boss you cannot make happy.

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
96 %
Male
4 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 470 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
19%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries

▲20%

▲9%

▲1%

National Average
$38,000

▼16%

Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries


▲3%


▲2%


National Average
$38,000

Patient Education
▼1%

Orthodontics
▼1%

Insurance
▼1%

▼2%

▼2%

▼2%

▼2%


▼5%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 470 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 41%
vision benefits
Vision: 16%
no benefits
None: 42%
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