Dental Assistant Salary

Dental Assistants in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $15.38 per hour. Overall cash earnings of Dental Assistants stretch from $23K near the bottom to $44K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $3K each from bonuses and profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by residence, followed by years of experience and the individual firm. Medical and dental coverage is claimed by roughly one in three, and around one in six earn vision coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Dental Assistants. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$18,598 - $44,621
$19K
$31K
$45K
MEDIAN: $30,963
10%
50%
90%

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$11.21 - $21.05
$11
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $15.47
10%
50%
90%

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$0$44K
Salary $18,598 - $44,621
Bonus $198.03 - $3,050
Profit Sharing $195.74 - $3,268
Commission $10.07 - $5,068
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).
)
$23,141 - $44,578
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 926
Hourly Data $0$31
Hourly Rate $11.21 - $21.05
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $7.86
Overtime $14.72 - $31.08
Annual Data $0$44K
Bonus $198.03 - $3,050
Commission $10.07 - $5,068
Profit Sharing $195.74 - $3,268
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).
)
$23,141 - $44,578
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 19 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 11,297

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Job Description for Dental Assistant

A dental assistant's duties include hands-on work with dental patients, assisting the dentist, and/or performing clerical functions in a dental clinic. Depending on an individual’s certification and goals, any of these are possible job tasks. If an individual would like hands-on work in the dentist’s office, their duties may include prepping the patient for a particular operation; this particular duty would involve knowledge of the teeth and most dental procedures. The dental assistant would then assist the dentist in performing the operation, and do such things as handing the dentist the required tools and providing secondary support. This kind of job usually entails working one-on-one with the dentist, and requires good communication skills.

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Dental Assistant 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 Dental Assistant


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As Dental Assistants transition into upper-level roles such as Registered Dental Hygienist, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Registered Dental Hygienists earn $67K on average per year. Becoming a Registered Dental Assistant or a Certified Dental Assistant is often the next step for a Dental Assistant.

Dental Assistant Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Assistant


Aspen Dental, Dental Group Ltd, Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental, and Comfort Dental are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Dental Assistants. Although Heartland Dental Corporation leads the field in pay with a median salary of $36K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $26K on the low end all the way up to $60K at the top. Also paying near the top of the field are DDS Inc. at $33K, Dental Group Ltd at $33K, and Dr. B, where Dental Assistants annually earn $33K.

Bringing up the rear, Gentle Family Dentistry's median pay of $27K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $48K. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Kool Smiles Pc. ($27K), Aspen Dental ($28K), and Pediatric Dental ($28K).

Popular Skills for Dental Assistant


Dental Assistants seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Order Inventory, endodontics, Periodontics, and Oral Surgery are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 5 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Bilingual, Spanish Language, and Dental assistant. Those familiar with Instrument Control also tend to know Patient Education and Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Dental Assistant

Pay by Experience for a Dental Assistant has a positive trend. An entry-level Dental Assistant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $29,000 based on 6,837 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Dental Assistant with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $34,000 based on 2,883 salaries. An experienced Dental Assistant which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $37,000 based on 2,669 salaries. A Dental Assistant with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $40,000 based on 1,465 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $32,435

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

Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Dental Assistants, 30 percent above the national average. Dental Assistants will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+9 percent), Denver (+6 percent), Austin (+5 percent), and Atlanta (+4 percent). In Los Angeles, salaries are 12 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Diego (9 percent lower) and San Antonio (8 percent lower).

Dental Assistant Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Dental Assistant?

Dental Assistant in Lynchburg:
"Fast paced, osha requirements, educate patients in dental."
Pros: Helping the less fortunate with dental care. Fast paced, I love people.
Cons: Hourly pay, people who don't take care themselves.

Dental Assistant in Shreveport:
"I love it!"
Pros: I love when I can make a fearful child calm down and have a better experience. Patience is key.
Cons: Tough on your hands and feet but worth it!

Dental Assistant in Ferndale:
"Duties as a dental assistant."
Pros: I love making crowns. The fact that I can do so much as the only dental assistant but I'm always stressed out.
Cons: That I'm getting paid less then what I am worth.

Dental Assistant in Batesville:
Pros: Working with patients.
Cons: Stress of dealing with bad patients.

Dental Assistant in New York:
"Craziness."
Pros: Helping patients to feel their best.
Cons: The amount of work for little pay.

Dental Assistant in Manassas:
"Dental Assistant."
Pros: Providing care for patients in need of dental care. Being knowledgable and skill learning each day.
Cons: Office needs to be updated and supplies are always I stocked. Office has a few lazy and unmotivated co workers. Despite my desire for excellent patient care and perfection to help the day flow easily I will not be able to change that.

Dental Assistant in Cebu City:
"Challenging, hectic, love to deal different personality."
Pros: Learning new things & helping people/patient.
Cons: Hectic schedule.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Dental Assistant

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1884 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
13%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Dental Assistant Salaries

▲24%

▲15%

▲4%

National Average
$32,000

▼12%

Skills That Affect Dental Assistant Salaries


▲5%

▲4%

▲2%

▲1%



National Average
$32,000


Radiology
▼2%

Customer Service
▼2%

Pediatrics
▼2%




▼11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1884 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 34%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
vision benefits
Vision: 16%
no benefits
None: 48%
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