As the name suggests, a dental assistant is an oral health professional who works very closely with – and often under the direct supervision of – a dentist. Most of the time, these hardworking men and women are tasked with performing the types of jobs needed both before and after a dentist has an appointment with a patient. Depending on the situation, they may also assist the dentist during a procedure.
Becoming a dental assistant is absolutely a career opportunity worth exploring. But at the same time, one must ask the question: how do you obtain the type of high dental assistant salary you’ve always seen for yourself? The answer to that question, of course, requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
Increasing Your Dental Assistant Salary: Breaking Things Down
Generally speaking, the easiest way to obtain a high dental assistant salary is to move to an area in the United States where such rates are commonplace.
According to one recent study, dental assistants brought home a median annual salary of $37,630 per year as of 2017. The people in the top 25% of the profession made about $46,000 per year, while the people in the bottom 25% earned about $31,160.
Certain areas of the country are known for higher salaries than others, and typically, metropolitan areas usually pay better for just about everything than rural ones. That same study revealed that the five best-paid areas for dental assistants were:
- Nashua, New Hampshire – $51,840
- San Francisco, California – $51,250
- Minneapolis, Minnesota – $50,610
- Haverhill, Massachusetts – $50,170
- Rochester, Minnesota – $49,970
As is true with so many other professions, the amount of money you make as a dental assistant will usually increase over time. So from that perspective, one of the easiest ways to obtain a high dental assistant salary is to stick with it. Those in the entry-level portion of their career tend to be among the bottom 18% of earners on average. Those later in their career, on the other hand, tend to be in the top 26%.
Likewise, it’s essential to understand that different skills can impact the amount of money you make as a dental assistant. Therefore, if you can do so, going back to school for a more highly specialized education can also be a great way to increase your salary above and beyond what you’re currently making.
Just a few of the skills that can help give a noticeable bump to your salary include ones like order inventory, experience with oral surgery, periodontics, radiology, office administration, and more. Experience in orthodontics and patient education can also make a big, big difference.
All told, you’ll likely want to use a combination of these suggestions to help not only improve your dental assistant salary but the long-term trajectory of your career as well.
If you’d like to find out more information about how to obtain a high dental assistant salary, or if you have any additional questions you’d like to talk to someone about it a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact us today.