How to Become a Dental Assistant Infographic

So you’re probably wondering what dental assisting is all about and what do you have to do to become one. Well, requirements for entry are pretty much minimal and this quick infographic will help shed light on whatever it is you want to know, including vital information such as employment statistics, job description, requirements, job info, and more. If you still have any questions, you can always refer to our dental assistant FAQ or visit our homepage. Continue Reading

The Definitive Dental Assistant FAQ

The Definitive Dental Assistant FAQ

This is THE definitive dental assistant FAQ that is meant to help address the most frequently asked questions people have. If you are interested in dental assisting and want your questions answered as concisely as possible, you might want to browse this resource.

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How Does Experience Affect Dental Assistant Salary?

How Does Experience Affect Dental Assistant Salary

Experience is an influential factor on how much a dental assistant can potentially make. Evidently more experience will correlate to a higher salary, because the employee that knows more about their business than the others will be more valuable to the office in the long run. The difference between an entry level dental assistant’s annual salary and a more experienced one can be as much as $20,000! That’s a major difference and obviously a detail that can’t be overlooked for new employees entering the dental assisting field. When just starting off an entry level assistant can usually expect an hourly wage ranging from $11 to $15, which amounts roughly to an annual salary between $22,750 and $31,200. This however varies largely to location, amount of duties, and overall training. But how can a DA earn more after that? The answer is to become an indispensable part of the dental team. Continue Reading

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

Are you wondering how much do dental assistants make? Well, one of the fastest growing health occupations in the US also provides for a good salary and benefits. But this isn’t true everywhere in the US. Indeed, salary can vary between states. For example dental assistants in New Hampshire make an average of $43,480 per year, which is the highest average salary in the US. On the other hand a dental assistant in West Virginia can see an average salary of $27,170 per year, which is the lowest in the US. Metropolitan areas tend to have higher salaries while the opposite can be said for rural areas.

How Much do Dental Assistants Make?

Exactly how much do dental assistants make can be impacted by a variety of factors from state to state. Job market, cost of living, and demand play a big role in salary.

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Factors that affect salary include:

  • Geographic location – States with a higher population usually demand for more DAs and so often these states offer a higher salary. Metropolitan cities such as Manchester, San Francisco, Barnstable, and Minneapolis offers the highest salaries in the US.
  • Duties – The more duties a DA is capable of the more of an asset they are to the office.
  • TrainingDental assistant training can be optional for many DAs but it offers a lot of benefits over no formal training DAs, including higher trust from employers and recognition in most states.
  • CertificationBecoming certified gives employees better benefits and a higher salary. Also, certified dental assistants have a better chance of getting hired and staying hired.
  • Experience – The DAs making the most per year are also the ones with the most experience.


Top 10 Highest Paying StatesTop 10 Lowest Paying States
1. New Hampshire $43,4801. West Virginia $27,170
2. Minnesota $42,4202. Utah $27,460
3. Alaska $41,9703. Arkansas $28,590
4. Massachusetts $41,2904. Louisiana $29,460
5. Connecticut $40,6805. Alabama $29,550

How Much do Dental Assistants Make by State

For a visual representation check out this map.

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StateLowest SalaryMedian SalaryHighest SalaryAverage Salary
New Hampshire 
New Jersey 
New Mexico 
New York$25,150$34,690$47,960$35,540
North Carolina$27,300$36,690$47,780$37,280
North Dakota$26,930$34,380$45,230$35,120
Rhode Island 
South Carolina 
South Dakota 
West Virginia$19,570$26,750$36,680$27,170


Certified Dental Assistant Salary

Are you looking to become a certified dental assistant? There are many benefits to becoming certified including a nice boost in salary and other things as well. Becoming certified means you are nationally recognized as a dental assistant and can often work in any state as long as you meet minimum requirements. Certification is not a necessity but it greatly increases your chances of getting hired as a DA as well as keeping the job. Often you will gain more of your employer’s trust and also the dentist’s which can allow you to have expanded functions and duties. If you’re wondering how to get certified you can read this article to find out the process. To learn more about certified dental assistant salary, continue on.

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Certified Dental Assistant Salary

According to DANB a median certified dental assistant salary is around $18.60 an hour which is about $1.54 more per hour than basic non-certified dental assistants. The median salary of a non-certified dental assistant is about $33,350 so certification can definitely help to increase your wages. This can amount to a good sum over time and is well worth the investment. Many certified DAs say that the benefits of becoming certified is well worth the effort, being that the process is fairly straightforward and isn’t too difficult.

A survey regarding CDAs say that 85 perfect of CDAs receive paid vacation benefits; 57 percent receive major medical insurance; 61 percent receive a 401(K) or pension plan; 53 percent receive free dental care; 61 percent receive paid sick leave; and 82 percent receive paid holidays. This can depend whether you work full or part-time however. But the numerous other benefits are great incentives to becoming certified too. Certified dental assistants are in substantially higher demand than non-certified DAs meaning chances of getting a job are much higher and your employer will pay higher wages to keep you. Certification generally means more experience making you much more valuable and appreciated in the office. So besides a higher certified dental assistant salary you will also receive many more benefits as well.

More dental assistant salary info on the homepage.

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Registered Dental Assistant Salary

Are you interested in becoming a registered dental assistant? Not all states require you to become a registered however as most don’t even have any formal requirements to become a basic dental assistant but becoming registered oftentimes has benefits. You should check with the DANB website first. Be sure to look for registered dental assistant information though and not certified dental assistant information because they are two completely different job titles both with different benefits. Becoming registered means that you are officially recognized by your state as a registered dental assistant whereas becoming certified means you are a nationally recognized dental assistant. Usually training programs to become registered run for about 1 year. After you’ve covered whether your state requires registration or not you can continue to learn about what a registered dental assistant salary is.

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Registered Dental Assistant Salary

On average a registered dental assistant makes around $13 to $20 an hour based on data from 2010. Factors affecting wages include location, employer, and years of experience. Becoming registered doesn’t always provide for a higher salary but it does provide your employer more trust and sometimes you are able to perform more duties. It also becomes easier to get hired. Expect a registered dental assistant salary to be a few thousand more per year than basic dental assistant salaries. The range generally falls around $27,165 – $39,775. There are also areas that offer a higher wage for registered dental assistants. The District of Columbia pays the most with an annual wage of $45,630. Alaska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts follow with annual salaries around $40,730 to $43,670. The top-paying metro areas include Santa Rosa-Petaluma, California; Manchester, New Hampshire; Anchorage, Alaska; Taunton-Norton-Raynham, Massachusetts; and Waterbury, Connecticut.

It certainly carries many benefits to becoming registered however including the registered dental assistant salary and is highly recommended to have the upper edge in the field. To make even more consider becoming certified.

More about dental assistant salary on the homepage.

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