Basics About the Dental Assistant Job Field

Being a dental assistant might be a good fit for your skills and interests

If you’re one of those individuals who’s not afraid of the dentist but actually finds the experience interesting, then perhaps you should consider working in a dental office. Dental assisting is a career that enables you to help other people, while also gaining certain technical and administrative skills.

Here are some basic things you should know if you’re considering a career as a dental assistant.

What’s involved in training

Over the course of a day, a dental assistant performs many different tasks, which can make the work interesting and engaging. The training for dental assistants usually includes several different areas of study, including basic clinical procedures and laboratory skills, as well as the anatomy and terminology that are specific to the dental profession. You will also receive specific training on the uses and handling of individual dental instruments.

In some states you can train on the job, but it’s a good idea to choose a training program that offers an internship experience. That way, when you enter the job market you can include “real-world” experience on your resume, which will be appealing to prospective employers.

What you need to qualify

Generally, becoming a dental assistant does not require a four-year college degree. Each state has different requirements, which you can find out by visiting the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. Training programs are available at institutions such as career training schools (like the American College for Medical Careers) and some community colleges. When you’re looking at a program, make sure that when you graduate from that school, you’d be qualified to work as a dental assistant in that state.

The salary for dental assistants varies by state

To get an idea of the salary for dental assistant jobs, looks at what The Occupational Outlook Handbook says about the median pay of dental assistants. Salaries change depending on how much experience you have and where you live. To get a good idea of how much dental assistants make in your region, a local job search would be your best bet.

It’s a growing job field

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

If this overview intrigues you, consider a program that could provide the hands-on experience you’d need to become a dental assistant. Look into a comprehensive dental assistant training program like the one at the American College for Medical Careers. It could start you on a path towards a new career in healthcare!

This post is part of the weekly blog of The American College for Medical Careers in Orlando, FL. In addition to dental assisting, we offer several other career training programs: Cardiovascular Sonography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assisting, Medical Coding and Billing, and a Sonography Bridge Program. Reach out to us for more information or to schedule a visit!