If you’ve already completed your state’s requirements and passed your exams – congratulations! You just have one more step, and that’s to secure your new job as a Dental Assistant. If you’re not quite there yet, that’s OK! It’s never too soon to start examining your options for job opportunities.
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Here’s a snapshot of the job outlook for dental assistants, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Quick Facts: Dental Assistants
|2014 Median Pay||$35,390 per year $17.02 per hour|
|Entry-Level Education||Postsecondary non-degree award|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|Number of Jobs, 2014||318,800|
|Job Outlook, 2014-24||18% (Much faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2014-24||58,600|
What does this chart mean?
The employment outlook for dental assistants is expected to grow considerably by the year 2024, much faster than the average for other occupations. It is expected that as many as 58,600 new dental assistants will be needed by 2024. This does not include the job openings created by people retiring from, or leaving the profession; those openings would create even more opportunities.
The drastic increase is attributed to ongoing research linking oral health and general health, which will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services. An aging population, as well as general increase in population also creates demand. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed. This is truly a fantastic time to pursue a career as a dental assistant.
Depending on the state where you’re employed and its cost of living, your salary may be higher or lower than the national average of $17.02 per hour. Advanced education or certification, if available for your state, can also increase your salary potential.
Dental assistants who work in a private practice usually follow a typical work week schedule of Monday – Friday during office hours, and can generally expect holidays off, unless the dentist holds evening or weekend hours or emergency hours to accommodate patients.
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