Dental assistants work majorly in dentists’ offices, performing several crucial functions. They sterilize tools for dental hygienists and dentists. They might also apply anti-cavity agents to teeth and anesthetics to gums and assist dental surgeons during procedures by handing them required instruments. Additional responsibilities and duties might include maintaining patient records and developing X-rays.
While some states require that dental assistants graduate from an accredited program, other states have no formal educational prerequisites for dental assistants; in a few instances, pass a state exam, according to the BLS.
How Much Do Dental Assistants Make
Average and Median Salaries
As of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that dental assistants working in the United States earn an average of $19.27 an hour and $40,080 per year. Half of the approximately 346,000 dental assistants in the United States earn between $13.45 and $19.65 an hour — and salaries of between $27,960 and $40,850 per annum.
Pay by Employment Setting
According to the May 2019statistics from the BLS, over 90 percent of dental assistants are employed in dentists’ offices and average $40,080 a year. Dental assistants working at universities and colleges made slightly less — at an average of $33,990 a year, as do those employed in physicians’ offices who make $32,750 per year on average. Dental assistants working in general hospitals make above the national average at about $36,350 a year. Those working for the state government also earn higher-than-average pay with state workers earning $36,890 a year and federal government workers making $38,280 per year(1).
What factors could affect dental assistant pay?
Factors such as geographic region and work environment play a part in how much money a dental assistant can make per hour / annually. Let’s look at these closer.
For instance, dental assistants in major metropolitan cities tend to make more than dental assistants who live in smaller towns. Experience is also a crucial factor – dental assistants with more experience tend to make more per hour/ annually than those who are new to the domain. Job titles may also play a role – Expanded Functions Dental Assistants typically earn more because of additional responsibilities.
Careers in the U. S:
Dental assistants working in the West, Northeast, and Great Lakes region tend to make higher compensation than their peers in the remaining country. According to the May 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Columbia District ranked first, with dental assistants making an average salary of $48,050 per year. Alaska ranked second at $42,550 a year, followed by New Hampshire at $42,520, Minnesota at $42,510, and Massachusetts at $41,380. West Virginia reported the least average pay for dental assistants at $25,890 per annum.
Careers in Europe:
The median salary is 11,600 EUR per month, which means that half (50%) of people working as dentists are earning less than 11,600 EUR while the other half are earning more than 11,600 EUR.
Careers in Asia:
An entry-level dental assistant (1-5 years of experience) earns an average salary of ¥68,753. On the other hand, a senior level dental assistant (9+ years of experience) earns an average salary of ¥110,552. The average dental assistant pay in China is ¥90,553 or an equivalent hourly rate of ¥44. Additionally, they earn an average bonus of ¥1,485.
The job outlook for dental assistants is comparatively positive. The BLS estimates employment growth of thirty-one percent among dental assistants between 2010 and 2020, far quicker than the expected growth rate of fourteen percent for all professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that ongoing research linking oral health and general health will drive the increased demand for dental services.
2020 Salary Information for Dental Assistants
According to the U.S. BLS, dental assistants earned a median annual salary of $40,080 in 2019. On the low end, dental assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,410, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $45,170, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2019, 346,000 people were employed in the U.S. as dental assistants.