There are quite a few factors which can have a drastic impact on the dental assistant salary. We’ll be exploring several of these in detail in future articles here at the Dental Assistant Salary and Career Center to help you in preparing to find the most competitive compensation package for your area. However, in this article we’ll take a brief look at the primary factors which can influence earnings so that you can understand what to expect when researching job openings.
Dental Assistant Certification
As you may be aware, the significance of dental assistant certification can have many positive impacts on the career of a practicing dental assistant. However, one of its most important benefits as you chart your career course is its influence on the dental assistant salary. Dental assistants who have been recognized and certified by the Dental Assistant National Board, or DANB, often receive median earnings of several percentage points higher than individuals working in the field without this certification. And since certification has many other benefits, it is wise to consider gaining DANB certification early in your career.
The state and region in which a dental assistant practices can also have a significant impact of the dental assistant salary. Since salaries are largely a function of the cost of living with a state or a region, carrying out your due diligence to understand what earnings you can expect within your current location can help you make important decisions which can affect your career as well as your earnings. If you determine that other states or regions offer noticeably higher median wages than yours and you have the flexibility to move, you may decide to do so to position yourself to receive a higher dental assistant salary.
In the United States, the majority of dental assistants currently practicing have gained their skill competencies through on the job training. However, there are many educational institutions that have developed and offer accredited short-term courses which are designed to prepare dental assistants with the specific clinical and administrative skills needed to practice as a dental assistant successfully. When you enter the work force already prepared with these valuable skills, you actually increase your value as a job candidate since you will require less training and guidance from existing staff members. This can lead to a higher starting dental assistant salary.
Understanding the factors which influence the dental assistant salary can help you in better positioning yourself as an attractive candidate to employers once you begin your job search.
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