If you want to become a Dental Assistant, there are many things you must be curious about.

You might be wondering how long it takes to become certified, how many dental assistant jobs are available where you live, and how much salary you can make.

The good news is that being a dental assistant offers different job titles and salaries depending on your preferred career path and how much education and experience you have.

In this article, we’ll talk about how much salary Dental Assistants generally earn. We’ll also uncover more information about dental assistants and the dental industry in general.

So, Let’s get started!

What is a Dental Assistant
Lead Dental Assistant
Dental Assistant Career Path


Who Are Dental Assistants?

Dental assistants are the backbone of dental practices, serving as versatile professionals who support dentists and hygienists in various aspects of patient care, administrative tasks, and clinical procedures.

They play an important role in ensuring the smooth operation of a dental office. Their responsibilities are diverse, ranging from preparing patients for treatments and maintaining equipment to managing administrative duties like scheduling appointments and handling patient records.

These professionals work chairside with dentists during procedures, providing assistance, passing instruments, and ensuring patient comfort. They’re also proficient in sterilizing equipment, taking X-rays, and educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

How much you earn is always a hot question for aspiring Dental assistants, both for those who are new to the career, and others who have worked for a long time.

The Dental Assistant’s Salary per hour can be different all over the United States. Some get paid $16 per hour, while others get more than $28 per hour.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national mean wage for dental assistants is $38,660, or $18.59 per hour.

Many things affect how much a dental assistant can earn. Where they live, or work is one big factor. Also, how much experience they have and the type of dental practice they work in also matters.

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Many aspiring or experienced Dental Assistants usually want to know how to make more money, so we looked up some information to find out what helps. Let’s take a look.

1. Consider Your Job Location

One important factor when it comes to your salary is where you work. The Bureau Of Labor Statistics keeps track of salaries for dental assistants all over the country. Further,  the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) also publishes salary information regarding certified dental assistants.

This way, you can see which states pay the most money.

2. Earn Certification

Getting DANB certified is a good way to meet the golden standard of the requirements and take on more tasks as a dental assistant. It can also help you earn more money.

According to a survey in 2022, dental assistants with DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification make over $4 more per hour than those without the certification.

3. Take On More Responsibilities

You might have observed that people having years of experience earn more salary than the freshers. If you are an experienced Dental Assistant, make sure you take on extra responsibilities.

Experience matters, and Dental Assistants with more experience and credentials are more likely to earn a higher salary.

4. Find Your Path

Most dentists work in regular dental clinics, but it’s a good idea to learn about more types of dental practices where you can work. By developing more skills, you have the option of making more money. For example, working in a specialized dental practice could be a smart choice.

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According to DANB’s Salary Survey, dental assistants with certifications in oral surgery, orthodontics, endodontics, and prosthodontics earn the highest salaries.

dentist with dental assistant

Top 5 Benefits of Having a Dental Assistant Career

Being a dental assistant can offer multiple benefits. Here are five reasons to choose dental assistant as a career:

Job Stability and Higher Demand: People always need dental care, so there will be lots of jobs available for dental assistants. You won’t have to worry about losing your job easily.

Quick Training and Education: Becoming a dental assistant doesn’t take as much time as other healthcare jobs. You can finish your training in less than a year and start working and earning money quickly.

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Multiple Work Environment: Dental assistants can work in many different places, like dental offices, clinics, hospitals, and public health facilities. You can choose where you want to work. You won’t get bored of the same working environment.

Related: Dental Assistant Duties & Dental Assistant Skills

Helping People and Learning: Dental assistants get to work closely with dentists, patients, and others. You’ll learn a lot and make a positive impact on people’s oral health.

Good Pay and Benefits: Dental assistants usually get paid well, and some also get extra benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. Always remember that the salary figures may vary depending on the location and type of job.

So, being a Dental Assistant can give you a stable job, a short training period, various work options, chances to help people, and most importantly, good pay. It’s a great choice if you are passionate about working in the dental field.

Top 5 Highest Paying Industries for Dental Assistants

Below are the industries where most Dental Assistants are working along with their hourly and annual mean wages.

Check out the table below:

Dental Assistant Salary By State

The average salary for Dental Assistants is not fixed and varies according to the state and the city. Overall experience also matters in deciding the salary of a Dental Assistant.

Below is a detailed list of the highest-paying states for Dental Assistants, as reported by the BLS.

The highest-paying states for Dental Assistants are:

Dental Assistant Salary California- $48,990 per year or $23.55 per hour

Dental Assistant Salary Georgia- $41,160 per year or $23.81 per hour

Texas- $39,170 per year or $18.83 per hour

New Jersey- $46,410 per year

Dental Assistant Salary Florida- $42,650 per year or $ 20.51 per hour

Dental Assistant Salary New York-$47,880 per year or $23.02 per hour

Arizona-$44,610 per year or $21.45 per hour


To sum it up, when it comes to how much dental assistants get paid, it varies. Where you work, how much experience you have, and what you do in the dental office all play a role in how much you earn.

But remember, being a dental assistant isn’t just about the money. It’s about feeling good about the work you do, helping people, and having chances to grow in a job that’s always changing. So, while the salary matters, there’s a lot more to love about being a dental assistant than just the paycheck!

Additional Sources:

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