According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment as a dental assistant is expected to grow 31 percent by 2020, making it one of the top 30 fastest growing occupations in the U.S. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook states: "Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to spur the demand for preventative dental services. As the large baby-boom population ages, and as people keep more of their original teeth than did previous generations, the need to maintain and treat teeth will continue to increase the need for dental assistants."
People in this career prepare patients for dental treatments and procedures, assist dentists and sterilize instruments. Some perform x-rays and lab tasks, maintain patient records and coordinate appointments. A typical work setting involves handling tools, working in a team, and interacting with patients.
Potential Job Titles
- Expanded Duty Dental Assistant
- Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA)
- Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
- Certified Registered Dental Assistant
- Orthodontic Assistant
- Surgical Dental Assistant
- Average Wage: $21.38/hour
- Top Earners: $27.09/hour
- Source: ISEEK: Minneapolis-St. Paul seven-county metro area, 2014
Gainful Employment Report
- Dental Assistant - Diploma 40 credits
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