Once you become a licensed dental assistant, you are on your way to a rewarding career that can offer you many years of job security, regardless of the economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistant job opportunities are expected to grow at a rate of over 35 percent by 2018. This is much faster than most careers according to national averages. With this much projected growth and stability, you will most likely see an increase in highly qualified, well trained dental assistants entering the job market in the next few years.
So, how do you stay ahead of the game and aware of changes or advancements in the dental field? In order to maintain your license and keep up with new developments, dental assistants and hygienists are required to earn a certain number of CEUs, or continuing education units, as part of the license renewal process. If you fail to comply, you will be restricted from practicing the duties of a dental assistant until your CEU requirements have been met.
What are the Hourly CEU Requirements for a Dental Assistant?
The exact number of CEUs a dental assistant must earn in order to renew his or her license varies according to state. For some states, a certain number of CEUs must be earned each year, while other states are more lenient.
In order to obtain continuing education requirement information for your particular state, check the website for your state’s dental board.
How Do I Choose a Class that will Comply with My State’s CEU Requirements?
Your state Board of Dentistry website is also a good starting point to find available dental assistant training classes that meet the requirements for relicensing credits. Generally, there are numerous courses to choose from, many are available on the web. This makes it easy and convenient to keep up with your CEUs from the comfort of your home.
When searching for available dental assistant training classes online, you should first look for classes that will offer training in areas that will be most beneficial to your current career. If you work in a pediatric dental office and there are continuing education courses that involve pediatric dentistry, this would be an ideal choice for you.
Before choosing the online dental assistant course you’d like to take, be sure to thoroughly review your state Board of Dentistry criteria and continuing education requirements. Certain states may require, for example, that at least half of your required CEUs are earned in medical procedure updates. If all of your classes are on changes to insurance requirements and dental policy updates, you will still have to take the required CEUs to renew your license. By taking the wrong type of classes, you can end up having to take more classes than necessary in order to earn the appropriate CEUs.
Another organization that approves continuing education for relicensure is the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). You can also check their website for a list of approved courses.
How Much Does Dental Assistant Continuing Education Cost?
Some employers cover the yearly cost of continuing education in an effort to maintain a highly qualified dental