What states pay dental assistants the most?

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Whether you’re considering entering the dental assisting profession or climbing the dental assisting career ladder, you may be wondering: “How much can dental assistants earn?”

The truth is, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A dental assistant’s salary can vary, depending on many factors. These can include experience level and geographical location, among others. Generally, dental assistants in major metropolitan areas tend to earn more than dental assistants who live in smaller towns. And some states are known for paying higher wages than others.

DANB’s 2020-2021 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey asked dental assistants who hold DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification about their salary and satisfaction levels. Below, we share data on the top-paying states for DANB CDA certificants, as well as the top-paying states for all dental assistants as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).*

Top-paying states for DANB CDA certificants

  • Vermont: $29.47
  • Delaware: $26.50
  • Washington: $25.00
  • Arkansas: $25.00
  • Minnesota: $24.75
  • Nevada: $24.63
  • Massachusetts: $24.50
  • New Hampshire: $24.00
  • North Dakota: $23.75
  • Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland: $23.50

Top-paying states for all dental assistants

  • Minnesota: $23.94
  • Massachusetts: $23.08
  • Oregon: $23.01
  • Alaska: $22.94
  • North Dakota: $22.91
  • New Hampshire: $22.89
  • District of Columbia: $22.86
  • Rhode Island: $22.79
  • New York: $22.72
  • Connecticut: $22.69

*Median hourly wage

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