The average dental assistant salary offers people the chance to have a relatively comfortable life while working at a job that is both fun and rewarding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a dental assistant in 2010 was over $33,000 per year. This equates to an hourly salary of over $16 per hour, and in fact, many dental assistants earn even more than that. The income of these professionals is growing quickly, In 2011, the BLS reported that the average salary for a dental assistant had increased to nearly $35,000 per year. That is an increase of almost a dollar an hour from 2010 to 2011.
In addition to the generous salary, many people are attracted to this field because of its positive outlook. According to the BLS, this industry is growing at a faster rate than most other industries. This means that between 2010 and 2020, the number of positions for dental assistants will increase by almost a third. The education requirements for dental assistants vary from state to state. Some states do not require their dental assistants to have any educational credentials while other states require dental assistants to spend a couple of years in school. That means that these professionals do not need to worry about taking out of lot of student loans to achieve their careers goals.
Dental assistant salaries vary depending upon several factors. The following sections explore how different factors may affect a dental assistant’s salary.
Top Paying Industries
Dental assistants work in different industries. Most of them work in dentists’ offices while some work for physicians and others work for the government or for dental schools. The industry that these professionals work in has an impact on their earning potential. The highest paid dental assistants work for insurance carriers, and the average dental assistant salary for those who work for insurance carriers is $40,940 per year. Those who work in specialty industries like psychiatric hospitals or substance abuse facilities earn an average salary of $39,040 per year. Those professionals who work for the government make the third largest salaries on average.
The Impact of Location on Dental Assistant Salaries
The state that a professional lives in also has a big impact on their ability to get a job and on their potential to make a large paycheck. The following states hire the highest numbers of dental assistants: California, Texas, New York and Florida. However, that does not necessarily mean that these states are the best places to work. Utah, Alaska, Idaho, and Washington do not have as many jobs as those other four states, but they have the highest concentration of jobs for dental assistants.
When deciding where to move to make the best salary, future dental assistants should look at the number of positions that exist in a certain state, but they should also look at the average salary in the states to which they are considering moving. In the District of Columbia, dental assistants make the highest salaries. The average dental assistant in DC makes over $48,000 per year. Alaska, New Hampshire, and Minnesota have the second highest average pay rates for these professionals, and they all pay approximately $42,500 per year on average.
Best Paying Cities for Dental Assistants
Wages vary from state to state, but of course, wages also vary from town to town. Thus, future dental assistants may find it helpful to investigate how their earning potential varies from city to city. According to data collected by the BLS, Manchester, NH is the highest paying metro area for dental assistants. The average mean wage in this city is over $46,500. San Francisco offers the second highest average wages with a figure that is only $500 less than Manchester, NH. Barnstable Town, MA, Anchorage, AK, Minneapolis, MN, and Nashua, NH-MA NECTA Division come in next on the list, and their average salaries are all over $44,000 per year.
If you are ready to help people in a field that offers above average growth and great earning potential, you may be interested in becoming a dental assistant. Working under the supervision of a dentist or other medical professional, you will get the opportunity to help patients as they prepare for their dental work, and you will get the satisfaction of working with the dentist as he or she performs dental work. The dental assistant salary is one of the reasons that people turn to this field, but the job satisfaction is one of the reasons why so many people stay in this industry.