Dental Assistants Who Earn DANB Certification Receive Higher Pay, Demonstrate High Employer Loyalty, DANB's 2012 Salary Survey Shows

  • Print
  • E-mail a Friend

    You may enter up to five e-mail addresses, separated by a comma.

    Close and Submit Buttons

CHICAGO (October 30, 2012) — The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) 2012 Salary Survey reveals that dental assistants who have earned DANB certification receive a higher salary than non-certified dental assistants and demonstrate high employer loyalty. The findings are consistent with DANB’s previous salary surveys, which have been conducted since 2001.

DANB, which is recognized by the American Dental Association as the national certification board for dental assistants, offers not only the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) national certification exam but also the Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) and Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA) exams. DANB surveyed thousands of dental assistants from around the country who hold DANB’s CDA certification about salary levels, types of work benefits, job satisfaction and other issues.

DANB’s 2012 Salary Survey shows that full-time dental assistants who hold the CDA certification earn a median salary of $18.60 an hour, $2.01* more than full-time dental assistants who do not. The survey also shows that the average CDA salary has climbed slightly since the 2010 salary survey, particularly notable during a time of economic difficulty and high unemployment rates.

Employer loyalty

CDA certificants also show high employer loyalty, averaging eight years in their current position. Many see the survey as a valuable resource for employers seeking new employees. “I recently changed jobs,” mentioned one respondent, “and several of the dentists I interviewed with utilized DANB’s salary survey for establishing salary.” Echoed another CDA: “I think this survey is a wonderful tool for prospective employees as well as for potential employers.”

Other benefits

CDAs also credited DANB certification for a number of benefits outside higher pay. Among them were pride (82%), self-improvement (72%), employer recognition (60%), elevation of the profession (51%), patient respect for credentials (45%), career mobility (45%), recognition by the dental community (45%) and the potential to perform additional dental assisting duties (45%). “Since obtaining my credentials through DANB,” said one respondent, “I have more confidence and I am more appreciated in my job.” Said another, “Being DANB certified reminds me that compared to other co-workers, I have gone the extra mile in my education and it shows in the work environment.”

To see the median salary by state and other results of the DANB 2012 Salary Survey, please go to www.danb.org/PDFs/2012SalarySurvey.pdf.

* According to figures from the 2012 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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 34,000 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.

Press Release Archives

View DANB’s press release archives by selecting one of the following years: