How to Become a Dental Assistant?

Are you thinking of becoming a Dental Assistant or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Dental Assistant, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Dental Assistant job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Dental Assistant

If you're considering starting your Dental Assistant career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Dental Assistant and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Dental Assistant career.
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1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Dental Assistant career path, a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Sciences or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Dental Assistant internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Dental Assistant?

55% of people working as a Dental Assistant earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Dental Assistant?

  • Suturing
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Administering
  • Reviews
  • Customer Focus
  • General Medical
  • Excellent Communication
  • Filing
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Dental Assistant in the United States.
2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Dental Assistant, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Dental Assistant field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Dental Assistant specialty.
3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Dental Assistant

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Sciences or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Dental Assistant. In general, you can become a Dental Assistant after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Dental Assistant role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified dental assistant.
4

Advance in Your Dental Assistant Career

Following entry-level, there are several Dental Assistant career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Dental Assistant to progress to the iii dental assistant position. Each advanced Dental Assistant position requires approximately 8 years of experience at each level to advance in your Dental Assistant career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Dental Assistant career path.
5

Continued Education for Your Dental Assistant Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Dental Assistant career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Sciences can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $58,595 compared to $27,756 for those without that type of degree.

Dental Assistant Career Path

Dental Assistant

8+Years of Experience
$35K - $48K /yrMost Likely Range
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Dental Assistant III

5 - 7Years of Experience
$37K - $54K /yrMost Likely Range
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Dental Assistant IV

No Years of Experience Reports
$40K - $60K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Dental Assistant Career Path

Dental Assistant I
Dental Assistant
Dental Assistant III
Dental Assistant IV
Dental Assistant V
Head Dental Assistant
$30K
$38K
$46K
$54K
$70K

Related Careers in the Healthcare Industry

Interested in other Healthcare careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Dental Assistant skills. Discover some of the most common Dental Assistant career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Medical Assistant
0% skills overlap
11% transitioned to Medical Assistant