Dental Assistant Salary
How much do dental assistants make?
How much dental assistants make is always a popular question. The short answer is, between $19.93 and $26 per hour. However, many factors can determine the dental assistant salary. We offer some more details and insights to consider.
Factors that influence dental assistant pay
Dental assistant salaries can vary widely. Dental assisting salaries can range anywhere from $14 to more than $28 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of the main factors that influence dental assistant pay are:
- Practice type
- Practice location
For more insights, view DANB's Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey report.
Certified Dental Assistants earn more
Since 2004, DANB has conducted surveys to learn more about dental assistants’ salaries and benefits. DANB’s Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey shows that Certified Dental Assistants earn about $4 more per hour than non-certified assistants. In 2022, Certified Dental Assistants earned a median hourly pay of $24 per hour, compared to $19.93 for dental assistants who are not certified. Certified Dental Assistants with multiple certifications reported the highest wages, earning a median hourly pay of $26.
But there’s more. Certified Dental Assistants are more likely to report high job satisfaction, see dental assisting as a career, and feel valued by their employer. Certified Dental Assistants are:
- Proud of their achievement
- Confident in their knowledge and abilities
- Dedicated to helping patients
How to earn more as a dental assistant
Your earning potential as a dental assistant is influenced by many factors, including where you live, how much experience you have, your education and credentials, and what kind of practice you work in. If you’re looking to maximize your earning
potential, here are some things to consider.
Find the right practice. There’s no doubt that where you work can make a difference to your salary. Dental practices in cities or urban settings generally offer higher pay than practices in less populated areas. The type of practice
can also make a difference. Some specialty practices, such as oral surgery, are known for offering higher salaries because of the specific knowledge their dental assistants need. Beyond practice setting and type, finding a dental practice where you
feel at home and where team members are recognized and rewarded for a job well done will impact your bottom line and make it more likely you’ll want to stay with the practice for many years.
Take on more duties. The more duties you can perform in a practice, the more valuable you will become. Look up the dental assistant requirements in your state to find out if your state allows you to perform expanded functions and what it will take for you to get there. Many states recognize or require DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant certification, so earning national certification
can accelerate your career and your earnings. Learn about the benefits of CDA certification.
Build your experience. As in any role, as you spend more time working in a dental setting, you’ll have opportunities to hone your skills and demonstrate your abilities. You’ll also be able to gain more knowledge and possibly
expand your role to include more allowable duties. As you gain more experience, you’re likely to be compensated accordingly. DANB’s Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey shows that Certified Dental Assistants who are
just starting out in the profession make $19 per hour, while those with more than 10 years of experience can make $25 per hour.
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