Dental Assisting - A Great Career
Why Dental Assisting is a Great Career Choice
Choosing a career can be overwhelming. It’s important to consider your interests, talents, skills, the training required, and the salary - not to mention goals for your personal life. With so many factors, it’s no wonder some people struggle to make a choice. If you’re finding yourself in that category, it may be worth considering a dental assistant career.
Sometimes overlooked, dental assisting is a meaningful career choice that offers a lot of benefits. It was tough to narrow down all the perks, but we’ve compiled the top five reasons you should consider becoming a dental assistant.
The job outlook is incredibly high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistants can expect a 19 percent growth rate by 2026 - much faster than the average jobs in the United States. This is due to the aging population needing increased dental care in their golden years. Now is a great time to enter the field.
The pay is good. Like any job, it’s important to know what your salary will be like. Dental assistants make a very stable income, with the top earners receiving $53,130 per year. On average, a dental assistant can expect to earn the comfortable wage of $18.00 per hour. Pay will vary by location and dental office, but as you enter the field it’s important to know what your skills are worth.
You can get a job almost anywhere. Every community needs a dentist, and every dentist needs a few good assistants. If you’re the kind of person who loves to explore new cities, dental assisting might be a good choice for you. While bigger cities will offer more job opportunities, smaller towns almost always have a least one or two offices in the area. Many hospitals also offer dental care, which can provide additional job opportunities. If you don’t like the town you live in? No problem! With a career like this the exploration possibilities are endless.
The hours are flexible. Many dental assistants choose to work full time, regular hours. This offers the benefit of full pay with the potential for employee benefits and a retirement account. But full time hours don’t work for everyone. Perhaps you’re a mother (or plan to be a mother) and want the flexibility to work part time. Maybe you have another job or do freelance gigs and want steady work during your off hours. Whatever your situation, flexibility is a key part of a dental assisting career. When and how often you work will depend on the dentist you end up employed with Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
- It Doesn’t Take Long to Learn. Unlike becoming a dentist, dental assistants do not need to attend medical school. Many states require that future dental assistants take post-secondary courses and pass a licensing exam. However some states have no requirements at all, and those who are interested in the career can receive on-the-job training. Check out the Dental Assisting National Board to find the requirements for your home state.
Those who choose to become a dental assistant come from all walks of life, and many find it’s a very satisfying career. Working in a dental office can offer a wonderful work environment with coworkers that feel like family. Best of luck on your career search. We hope you’ll give dental assisting a try.