Salaries Continue to Rise for DANB Certified Dental Assistants

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CHICAGO (October 16, 2008)- The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) has just released the results of its 2008 DANB Certificant Salary Survey, which found that pay rates for DANB Certified Assistants have gone up by more than 9 percent in the last two years, and remain higher than national averages for non-DANB Certified assistants.

The full-time respondents reported earning a median salary of $18.00 per hour, $1.50 an hour more than what DANB’s 2006 Salary Survey results showed. DANB Certified Assistants also earn $2.38 more than non-DANB Certified assistants, according to adjusted figures from a 2007 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey.

DANB Certified Assistants in specialty practices make more than those employed in general dental practice, with periodontal assistants earning the most, with a median salary $19.00 per hour. Of the Certified Assistants who responded to the survey, 49% have taken an expanded functions course since becoming Certified.

DANB Certified Assistants also continue to report career and employer loyalty. Respondents have an average of 16.7 years of field experience and have been in their current position for an average of 9.4 years. Both of these figures are up from the 2006 survey.

Other key figures include:
•73% of respondents work full time, with a median salary of $18.00
•82% work in private practice, with a median salary of $18.00
•67% work in general dentistry, with a median salary of $17.75
•DANB Certified Assistants report a median length of employment as a dental assistant of 16 years.
•Respondents working in the profession for 16-20 years earn a median salary of $18.00
•Respondents working in metropolitan areas earn a median salary of $18.98

According to respondents, the top three benefits of DANB Certification are self-gratification (83%), pride (75%) and recognition by employer (58%).

“The DANB Salary Survey was a great help to me when interviewing for jobs when [my husband and I] moved,” one respondent said. “I wouldn’t have known what to ask for in this area without that information, and would have asked for less.”
Other respondents note the survey is beneficial in assessing current pay scales. “Thank you for issuing this survey. I share this with my employer so he can assess where he is at with wages and benefits.”

About DANB

DANB is recognized by the American Dental Association as the national certification board for dental assistants. DANB's certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. DANB serves the public by promoting a means of identifying qualified and competent dental assistants and by measuring and promoting excellence in oral healthcare delivery. As a Mark of Dental Assisting Excellence, DANB Certification is a source of pride for those who achieve it. Currently, there are more than 33,000 DANB Certificants nationwide, and DANB Certifications and Certificates of Competency are recognized or required in 38 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For those dental assistants who meet the eligibility and exam requirements, DANB Certification may be earned in the areas of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and/or Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA). In addition to these two national certifications, DANB offers Certificates of Competency in Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) and Infection Control (ICE). The RHS and ICE exams are components of the CDA exam, and ICE is also a component of the COA exam. Individuals may take these components separately in order to earn Certificates of Competency. Passing either or both of these exams demonstrates a dental assistant's competency in these two areas that are important to the health and safety of oral healthcare workers and patients alike.

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