What Is the Economic Outlook for the Dental Assisting Professions?

A dental assistant job pays well and only requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training, although many professionals do complete certification programs. Read on to find out more about the economic outlook for this career. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economic outlook for dental assisting careers is very strong (www.bls.gov). From 2014-2024, the BLS expects an employment growth of 18%, which is much faster than the average growth of other occupations. There were 318,800 dental assistants employed in 2014. With the expected increase of 58,600 jobs over the decade, there will be 377,400 employed in this field in 2024.

The BLS notes many factors of this growth. Dental assistants will be needed as more people request preventative care. As the number of older adults' increases, there will also be a need for more dental assistants to help provide dental care. Since these professionals can do tasks that help free up dentists' time, dental offices will be hiring more assistants. In addition, accessibility to health insurance is improving, so there will be more patients that need to be treated.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensure/Professional Certification Some states require dental assistants to be licensed or certified
Key Skills Listening, organization, interpersonal, attention to detail
Work Environment Office setting
Similar Occupations Dental Hygienist, Surgical Technologist, Medical Assistant

Salary Information

A job as a dental assistant also provides relatively high wages. The BLS reported that the median salary was $35,390 in May 2014. Wages for the bottom 10% of workers were $24,580 or less a year, while they were $49,540 or more per year for the top 10% of workers. Benefits for healthcare, time off and retirement funding can add to the total compensation for the year.

Training and Education

Dental assistants may be trained on the job, though some states require completion of a 1-year dental assisting training program or an associate's degree. According to the BLS, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approves programs in this field, and as of 2015, there were about 300 available programs. During training, these professionals learn laboratory, office and patient-related tasks, including:

  • Basic oral care and anatomy
  • How to take and process X-ray photos
  • Sterilization of instruments and equipment
  • Processing patients for treatment

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, San Antonio
  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • South College

    South College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Asheville
  • Abilene Christian University

    Abilene Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Abilene Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

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