What is the Average Dental Assistant Salary?

Dental assisting is a great career to consider if you are in high school or even midlife and looking for a new career. The career outlook is good because there will always be a need for dentists, who need hygienists and assistants.

While the average dental assistant salary is around $15 according to the 2008 report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, this figure can vary up or down depending on your education, certifications, where you live, who you are employed with and many other factors.

Dental assistant pay is often entry level at first, then raises are given the longer the assistant works for their employer until they have reached top pay.

Dental assistant salaries range from $33,000 per year and up. As mentioned before this figure is an average only. Not bad pay when you look at the educational requirements for a dental assistant.

Depending on your state, the required educational program can be a year or even less. If you plan to become a certified dental assistant, which increases your chances of employment and higher pay, you will need to attend an accredited educational facility.

If you work as an assistant now and want more than a dental assistants salary and job duties, consider working your way up to the position of dental hygienist. The hygienists work more closely with the dentists and have more responsibilities than the assistant. They also earn more.

The average dental hygienist salary in 2008 was around $30 an hour, twice what an assistant makes. And, this isn't even counting the benefits package. Benefits often include health, dental, vision, life insurance and more.

When looking for a career in the dental industry, the dental assistant salary compared to that of a hygienist may seem small. However, dental assistants can get benefits and pay raises, and can work their way up the educational and vocational ladder.

Most workplaces are very supportive of employees who want to further their education so they can advance in their job. Some even help you pay for your education as part of your benefits package.

Even if you don't become a hygienist, the pay for a dental assistant is substantially better than a job at a restaurant, retail store or supermarket for example. It is worth the education and training to gain employment in this rewarding field.

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