Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salary

The larger portion of Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are women. Median pay in this female-dominated area goes for around $17.19 per hour. Total incomes of Registered Dental Assistants incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $2K from bonuses and close to $4K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $25K and $50K. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and years of experience. The majority of Registered Dental Assistants claim high levels of job satisfaction. More than a third enjoy medical while more than two-fifths get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to around a seventh. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$20,283 - $49,905

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$12.02 - $23.42

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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
$20,283 - $49,905  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,981  
Profit Sharing
$309.13 - $3,915  
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).
)
$25,038 - $49,929  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 219
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$12.02 - $23.42  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.73  
Overtime
$14.60 - $35.99  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,981  
   
Profit Sharing
$309.13 - $3,915  
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).
)
$25,038 - $49,929  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,613
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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 may progress into high-paying roles like Registered Dental Hygienist, where median compensation is $67K annually. It is not unusual for a Registered Dental Assistant 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 DDS Inc. are top-notch employers for Registered Dental Assistants in this area. Although DDS Inc. leads the field in pay with a median salary of $46K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $29K on the low end all the way up to $63K at the top.

The pay scale is far from balanced at Western Dental Centers. While salaries on one end can reach $43K, the company's median pay sits at $28K, the lowest in the field.

Popular Skills for Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)


Registered Dental Assistants seem to require a rather large skill set. 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 familiar with Patient Education also tend to know 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 many Registered Dental Assistants, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The average beginner in this position makes around $31K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $37K. Registered Dental Assistants bring in $40K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $44K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Registered Dental Assistants, busy Santa Rosa offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 35 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+30 percent) and San Jose (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Antonio, which sits 19 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 14 percent less in Nashville and 12 percent less in Houston, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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




CAD/CAM
up arrow 4%

Insurance
up arrow 4%

Orthodontics
up arrow 3%

Oral Surgery
up arrow 2%

Office Administration
up arrow 2%

Patient Education
up arrow 1%

Scheduling
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 1%

Radiology
0%

National Average
$36,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 567 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
32%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

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