Dental assistant salary isn’t the world’s highest salary, but it is definitely higher than you’d first expect. Dental assistants have a lot of responsibilities. In fact, they are deemed as the overseer of the operations in any dental clinic. Without them, a dentist will not be able to do his or her job most efficiently. It is only right that the dental assistants be adequately compensated for it. Although some think a position as a dental assistant is quite minor, well they’d be surprised at how much these assistants really earn.
The dental assistant salary rates, though promising, is also not the only positive thing you’ll get out of the dentist assisting experience. Since your job is highly necessary, it is a highly respected position in the field. It is also a very flexible job that you don’t have to adjust to it; the job can actually adjust to you. You can get a schedule that allows you to keep another job if you’re looking for a part-time stint for some extra money. You can get a schedule that you can insert in between classes if you’re still studying. The job also exposes you to good experience and to a high level of interaction with various kinds of people since you will be dealing with a lot of patients, majority of them upset due to their dental problems.
But undeniably, a lot of people consider becoming dental assistants because of the salary. Here’s what you need to know about the financial rewards of dentist assisting.
What Determines Dental Assistant Salary Ranges
- Experience level
Several factors are known to affect the dental assistant salary rates. The biggest factor that affects the rates earned by dental assistants is the location, as we have earlier learned.
According to recent reports, dental assistant salary rates these days now range between $30,000 and $39,000 every year on average, while the highest existing rate a dental assistant makes today is at $46,000 and the most common rate at $32,000. There are also some dental assistants who only earn $22,000, but such cases are usually based on part-time rates.
Different states also have different ranges when it comes to the compensation given to dental assistants. In California, the average hourly rate is around $13. The rate is the same in Pennsylvania and only a bit higher in Ohio. However, dental assistants working in Illinois and New York are in much better locations since they earn an average of $15 per hour. Virginia falls in between with $14.60 per hour. The highest existing rates are $15.50 in Las Vegas, Nevada and $17 in New York City, New York. Rates are found to be moving at an increasing trend, so you can expect these rates to even go higher.
Different states pay different compensation rates to their dentist assistants, and some cities even set their own special prices, as we again previously learned in the cases of Las Vegas and New York.
2. Experience level
Commonly, dental assistants are paid on an hourly basis since a lot of assistants work only part-time, so they cannot earn by the day. The full range of dental assistant salary rates is between $12 and $20.
Aside from location, a dental assistant’s experience level also says a lot about how much he or she will make from dental assisting. The $12 range is for dental assistants who have only just graduated from college and those who have no previous experience in the said job. The more experience you have, the higher your possibly hourly rate climbs.
Thirdly, the range of dental assistant salary is also affected by the demand for dental assistants. The demand closely overlaps with your location since different locations have different demand levels for the job. However, the demand is the determining factor for changes in the salary rates of each state. As the demand rises, the dental assistant salary rates also increase.
Other rewards of becoming a dental assistant
As previously mentioned, apart from the monetary benefits of a dental assistant job, you also get several other benefits from your stint as a dental assistant. Anyone who is able to learn fast and interact with other people can easily become a dental assistant even without prior training. While short term dental assisting courses can boost your credentials, it is not always required and the effect of this is nothing compared to the boost that experience can give.
By becoming a dental assistant, you get working experience at a good field and environment and you can learn plenty of skills while working. This job can also improve your skills set and make you a better worker on the whole, thus also improving your future job prospects should you decide to move on to higher job opportunities. Aside from improving your skills set, you can also improve the way you interact with others and manage various concerns of different people. On the whole, a dental assistant job can help you become more flexible.
As promising as the dental assistant salary rates are, they make up just part of the reason why a dental assistant job is an excellent stepping stone to higher success in the outside world.