The good news for the dental assisting career field is the dental assistant salary is expected to grow while the job opportunities become more prevalent. With an expected growth from 2008-2018 of 30%, this is a fast growing occupation. The studies show that middle aged people are retaining their existing teeth longer and as such, continued preventive maintenance on the large baby boomer population’s teeth is and will continue to drive demand for dental assistants. The dental assistant salary is attractive to people who are considering choosing this career path.
Based on the Bureau of labor statistics occupational handbook, 2010-11, an astounding 295,300 jobs were held by dental assistants. This figure continuous to grow as retiring dentists, who may not have used an assistant, are replaced by new dental graduates who recognize the need for a dental assistant to help them to manage the daily patient responsibilities of their practice. Just like any occupation, experienced dental assistants will garner a larger dental assistant salary, however, there will be plenty of entry level positions available also.
The working conditions are also excellent for a dental assistant. They work mainly in comfortable, controlled temperature dentist’s office. They alternate sitting and standing depending on the tasks they are performing. They are only required to wear gloves, masks and protective clothing when working with patients. As with any medical profession, there are certain risks for exposure to infectious, contagious diseases. Working towards obtaining a dental assistant salary through schooling is a sure way to secure your future job security.
Dentists will look for assistants that exhibit reliability and professionalism when working with others, including patients and co-workers along with good manual dexterity. The assistant is vital to the day-to-day operations in the dental office and as can be expected, the dentist will rely on a good assistant for a smoother more pleasant practice. Patience and an ear for listening to the patient’s needs and concerns will alleviate the dentist of this responsibility for the most part. Acting as the dentist’s eyes, ears and hands in many cases is what drives a dental assistant salary in this important role. The dental assistant salary is competitive and the jobs are plentiful and are expected to grow.