Most Registered Dental Assistants in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $17.73 per hour. Total incomes of Registered Dental Assistants incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $4K from bonuses and close to $3K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $26K and $52K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though tenure and the specific company have a (lesser) impact as well. Two in five receive medical and dental insurance and close to one-seventh get vision plans. Most Registered Dental Assistants like their work and job satisfaction is high. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$21,944 - $50,550
(Median)
$22K
$33K
$51K
MEDIAN: $32,949
10%
50%
90%

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$12.56 - $24.56
(Median)
$13
$18
$25
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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$21,944 - $50,550  
   
Bonus
$196.95 - $3,670  
Profit Sharing
$962 - $3,091  
Commission
$600  
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).
)
$26,014 - $51,751  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 209
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
$12.56 - $24.56  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.14  
Overtime
$18.02 - $36.79  
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
$196.95 - $3,670  
   
Commission
$600  
Profit Sharing
$962 - $3,091  
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).
)
$26,014 - $51,751  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,181
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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)


Registered Dental Assistants flock to Family Dental, Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Western Dental Services, Inc., DDS Inc., and Family Dental Care, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. For Registered Dental Assistants, comfortable salaries can be found at Gentle Dental; in fact, median earnings sit around $43K, the highest in the area. Dr. B, Pediatric Dental, and Family Dental also offer top salaries for Registered Dental Assistants. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $41K, $38K, and $38K, respectively.

Offering a median salary of only $31K, Western Dental Services, Inc. gives out the smallest paychecks. Furthermore, the earnings range of $24K to $43K isn't that wide, either. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Western Dental Centers at $32K, 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)


Registered Dental Assistants report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, Leadership, CAD/CAM, and Office Administration are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 5 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Spanish Language, and Pediatrics. Those who learned Radiology also tend to know Scheduling and Order Inventory. Most people familiar with Patient Education also 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.


Registered Dental Assistants with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $32K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $38K. Registered Dental Assistants bring in $41K after working for 10 to 20 years. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $46K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,086

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

San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Registered Dental Assistants, 40 percent higher than the national average. Registered Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Rosa (+32 percent), San Jose (+17 percent), San Diego (+8 percent), and Torrance (+8 percent). With compensation 18 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (15 percent lower) and San Antonio (13 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!

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Salaries


Leadership
up arrow 4%

CAD/CAM
up arrow 4%

Office Administration
up arrow 3%

Orthodontics
up arrow 1%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 1%

Periodontics
up arrow 1%

Patient Education
0%

Scheduling
0%

Oral Surgery
0%

Insurance
0%

National Average
$37,000

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Pediatrics
up arrow 3%

Spanish Language
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 414 votes.

Gender

Female
95 %
Male
5 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 41%
medical benefits
Vision: 15%
dental benefits
None: 42%
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