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 $17.97 per hour. Overall cash earnings for Registered Dental Assistants vary widely between $27K and $52K; for a few high rollers, the final number can encompass upwards of $3K each from bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by residence, but career duration and the individual firm are influential factors as well. Over a third have medical and dental plans, and roughly one in seven have vision insurance. For the most part, Registered Dental Assistants enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$21,368 - $50,962
$21K
$34K
$51K
MEDIAN: $34,149
10%
50%
90%

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$12.93 - $24.76
$13
$18
$25
MEDIAN: $17.97
10%
50%
90%

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$0$52K
Salary $21,368 - $50,962
Bonus $201.42 - $3,112
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).
)
$26,811 - $52,071
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 202
Hourly Data $0$35
Hourly Rate $12.93 - $24.76
Overtime $18.33 - $35.87
Annual Data $0$52K
Bonus $201.42 - $3,112
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).
)
$26,811 - $52,071
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,029

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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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. It is not uncommon for a Registered Dental Assistant to continue 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. Those at Gentle Dental can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $43K. 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.

Western Dental Services, Inc. seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $31K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $24K and $43K. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Family Dental Care ($33K), Western Dental Centers ($33K), and Dental Office ($35K).

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, 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 Radiology also know Scheduling and Order Inventory. Most people who know Patient Education also know Order Inventory and Scheduling.

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: $37,716

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

San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Registered Dental Assistants, 36 percent above the national average. Registered Dental Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Rosa (+23 percent), San Jose (+16 percent), San Diego (+5 percent), and Sacramento (+2 percent). The lowest-paying market is Houston, which sits 20 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Bakersfield and San Antonio (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 505 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
20%
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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


▲2%


▲1%


National Average
$38,000

Patient Education
▼1%

Orthodontics
▼1%

▼2%

▼2%

▼2%

Insurance
▼2%

▼2%


▼5%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 505 votes.

Gender

Female
96 %
Male
4 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 38%
dental benefits
Dental: 39%
vision benefits
Vision: 15%
no benefits
None: 44%
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