What’s My Earning Potential as a Dental Assistant?
If you are considering a career as a dental assistant, congratulations. Dental assistants enjoy a very rewarding and respected position, where they are challenged to grow and face new challenges on a daily basis. Besides being respected, you will also be rewarded financially as a dental assistant. While your income will vary based on your years of experience, location, and education, being aware of salary information up front can give you the power to be more in control of your earnings, putting you on the right path for a successful future in the industry.
What Will My Base Salary as a Dental Assistant be?
According to Salary.com, a qualified and competent dental assistant can earn a salary that ranges from $25,500 to $39,000. The national average median salary for a dental assistant is $33,000. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reports the lowest 10% earn just below $22,270, while the highest 10% bring in more than $46,000 annually.
What Will My Benefits Look Like?
With social security benefits added in, the total compensation averages just over $35,400. Depending on the region and other factors, core compensation and total compensation will vary. Benefits will depend heavily on the practice setting. Those who are part of a larger dental office in a metropolitan area are likely to receive a better compensation package.
The Dental Assisting National Board, or DANB conducted a survey in 2008 to determine what benefit packages look like for employees. The survey results indicated 86% of Certified Dental Assistants, or CDAs receive paid vacation time, while more than half of CDAs receive healthcare benefits. That’s a pretty nice average to look forward to.
Dental Assistant Career Projection
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the Dental Assistant field are expected to grow by as much as 36% between now and 2018. This rate of growth is much faster than the national average of about 10% growth among all jobs in all industries and fields, providing a great incentive for new students.
The factors contributing to the growth of dental assistant careers includes: population growth, increased number of people keeping natural teeth longer in life, and the number of older dentists who did not employ assistants leaving the field. Dentists are also experiencing an increased workload as more people are able to seek services freely and cost effectively, which leads to the hiring of more dental assistants. This allows the dentists to spend more time on complex procedures only they can perform. By 2018, the field is expected to employ 400,900 assistants, which represents an increase of 105,600 employees over the last decade. The number of jobs available in a region will vary; certain areas of the country will experience more growth than others.
Knowing what to expect of your salary is a step toward building your rewarding and challenging career as a dental assistant. Put yourself in control, and build the life of your dreams! With a little planning and dedication, you can have your education in as little as one year. Start reaching your goals, and move forward in your career as a dental assistant today.