Why You Should Become a Registered Dental Assistant
There are dental assistants, then there is the certified dental assistant. A registered dental assistant stands out from the crowd when it comes to finding employment. They are trusted to work in their chosen field anywhere in the country, and they may even make more than assistants who are not certified.
There are some steps you need to take in order to become a CDA, or Certified Dental Assistant. But, as you will learn the time and work you put in is well worth the result.
First, let's discuss the topic of licenses. Each state has its own rules when it comes to the licensing of a dental assistant.
Keep in mind licensing is not the same thing as certification. To become licensed in your state, you may or may not be required to pass an exam.
Also, states may require attendance at certain schools that are considered accredited. These schools can be dental assistant schools, vocational schools or even colleges. The average education for an assistant lasts from one to two years.
Next comes certification. The Dental Assisting National Board, or DANB, is an organization with recognition in over 30 states. You can take the CDA exam if you have graduated from an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited educational program.
Another way is if you have two years of full time or four years of part time work experience as a dental assistant. In order to take the exam, you must be currently certified in CPR.
If you choose to become re-certified year after year, continuing education may be required. Whether or not you choose to take the national exam is up to you.
A registered dental assistant who has taken a state exam and been qualified by their state of residence to practice as a dental assistant still has a great chance at getting a job. The outlook for dental assistants is better than ever, and the job market is growing rapidly.
The current average wage for a dental assistant is around $15, but you can make more or less than this depending on your location, experience, education and a variety of other factors.
If you want to make $30 or more per hour, consider going to school in the evenings to become a dental hygienist. Your employer may even offer tuition reimbursement to help you achieve your career goal.
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