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.

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how does experience affect dental assistant salary bell curve

Experienced dental assistants will often earn more compared to their untrained, entry level counterparts. This bell curve shows what the percentage of dental assistants earn.

An experienced dental assistant can make as much as $22 an hour, which sums up to an annual salary of $45,700. But what exactly constitutes experience? First of all, the level of training is a big indicator of experience. An employee with a certificate or degree will often earn more than their untrained counterparts, and as a result of their training will often hold their position for a longer period of time, eventually allowing for an increase in salary.

The amount of duties an employee is capable of doing also plays a big role. Duties in this case refers to the number of functions a dental assistant is capable of carrying out, whether it is expanded functions or existing functions. The ability to juggle clinical as well as administrative tasks often boosts the efficiency of the entire dental office as a whole, which is why the employee that can do more is paid more.

In general, how much you can potentially earn is associated with how long you have been exposed to your craft.

Most dental assistants — roughly 78 percent — only have a high school degree, which is why roughly 75 percent earn less than $37,599. About 33 percent of all dental assistants have less than 1 year of experience, 23 percent have 2-5 years of experience, 18 percent have 5-10 years, and 11 percent have 10-15 years. Having said that, we can assume that the employee that has more training, more functions, and has spent more time assisting will earn a higher salary.

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