Dental assistants usually learn their skills on the job, although some receive training from dental assisting programs offered by community and junior colleges, trade schools, technical institutes or the Armed Forces. Dental assistants must be reliable, work well with others and have good manual dexterity. In some states, dental assistants must be licensed or registered. They may be required to pass a written or practical exam. Dental assistants who perform specialized duties, such as radiological procedures, may have to complete the Radiation Health and Safety Examination; this course and examination are being offered The Dental Assistant Training School of SC.
Below are statistics for dental assistants’ salary, career growth and expansion.
The median expected salary for a typical dental assistant in the United States is $32,992. This basic market pricing report was prepared using our Certified Compensation Professionals' analysis of survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at employers of all sizes, industries and geographies. *Average salary for the Charleston, SC, area is $30,534 annually.*
Dental assistants held about 295,300 jobs in 2008. About 93 percent of all jobs for dental assistants were in offices of dentists. A small number of jobs were in the Federal, State, and local governments or in offices of physicians.**
Employment is expected to grow 36 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, dental assistants are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008–18 projection periods.**
Industry Stats Population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people, and an increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations will fuel demand for dental services. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ assistants or have employed fewer, are leaving the occupation and will be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to use one or more assistants. In addition, as dentists' workloads increase, they are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures.**
Benefits vary substantially by practice setting and may be contingent upon full-time employment. According to a 2008 survey conducted by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), 86 percent of Certified Dental Assistants (CDA) reported receiving paid vacation from their employers, and more than half of CDAs received health benefits.**
*From salary.com as of March 2011.
**From Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 Edition.