Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $17.16 per hour. In the world of Registered Dental Assistants, total cash compensation can vary between $25K and $50K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $2K and $4K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to more than a third, and more than two-fifths earn dental coverage. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$20,283 - $49,905
(Median)
$20K
$34K
$50K
MEDIAN: $33,732
10%
50%
90%

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$11.99 - $23.42
(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
$20,283 - $49,905  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,956  
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).
)
$24,981 - $49,907  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$11.99 - $23.42  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.45 - $36.22  
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 - $1,956  
   
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).
)
$24,981 - $49,907  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,606
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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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For Registered Dental Assistants, progressing to a Registered Dental Hygienist role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Registered Dental Hygienist can earn $67K annually. Becoming a Registered Expanded Function Dental Assistant or a Dental Hygienist is a common transition from a Registered Dental Assistant role.

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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 top-notch employers for Registered Dental Assistants in this area. DDS Inc. offers the largest salaries in town — $46K on average.

The smallest paychecks can be found at Western Dental Centers — the median salary there is $28K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with salaries varying between $21K and $43K.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Registered Dental Assistants seem to wield many skills 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. 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.


For Registered Dental Assistants, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $30K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $37K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $40K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $43K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Registered Dental Assistants that is 35 percent greater than the national average, Santa Rosa offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+31 percent) and San Jose (+13 percent). Falling short of the national average by 20 percent, the area with the worst salaries is San Antonio. Employers also pay below the national average in Nashville (14 percent lower) and Houston (12 percent lower).

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




Orthodontics
up arrow 4%

CAD/CAM
up arrow 4%

Insurance
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%

Pediatrics
0%

Windows Operating System General Use
0%

National Average
$36,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 565 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
15%

Common Health Benefits

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