Thinking about becoming a dental assistant? Our dental assisting students know firsthand how fulfilling a new career as a dental assistant is. Not only do they hit the ground running by working along chair side with real dentists, but they are also able to locate clinical jobs straight out of dental assistant school and earn a full-time, competitive salary with benefits. All with almost zero student debt and a promising dental assisting career outlook.
A Great Starting Salary
The median annual wage for a dental assistant is extremely competitive. The current job outlook has dental assisting salary at $35,000-61,000 per year in Washington and $37,000-62,000 in Oregon. The pay for dental assistants varies depending on training, skills, experience, and their ability to learn. You can make a predictable starting salary as soon as you complete your dental assistant program.
Since you can complete certificate programs to become a dental assistant, you get to graduate with little to no student debt, putting you ahead when it comes to a new career. And since you won’t be paying on student loans, you’ll instantly get to enjoy the benefits of competitive pay and a steady income. And after the “great resignation” that occurred with COVID-19, there’s more of a demand for highly trained dental assistants than ever before (and the competitive starting salaries to prove it.)
Steady Demand for Trained Dental Assistants
Becoming a dental assistant is one of the most predictable ways to find a full-time, fulfilling career. Most of our dental assisting students are hired full-time immediately after graduation. The demand for skilled, competent dental assistants is continuing to rise, especially since oral health services are more accessible than ever before. When you read through current labor statistics, most dental assistants work full time and make a competitive salary. A high percentage of them stay within the industry for several years, if not their entire career. And unlike dental hygiene, the burnout rate is far lower for dental assisting, because clinical duties vary throughout the day, and there’s much less of a risk for the same routine tasks every hour all week long. Even in specialty offices, dental assistants can perform a variety of duties that keep their day interesting.
Dental assistants work directly with dentists and sometimes the dental hygienist. However, most of their time is spent helping with direct patient care at the dental chair while the dentist is performing treatment.
Traditional Work Hours and Schedule
Most dental practices are open from 8-5 Monday-Friday. The majority of dental assistants work a traditional full-time schedule alongside dentists. Since dental offices are usually closed on holidays and weekends, you get those times off to spend with your family. And there’s no need to “take work home with you” because dentistry isn’t something you do from home. Assistants find a great work-life balance that’s fulfilling and full-time, with the benefits they need to enjoy their career goals while also enjoying time with friends and family.
As more dental offices are beginning to work condensed workweeks or evenings and weekends, you also have the option of flexible work schedules that fit your lifestyle. Dental assisting varies from location to location, so the type of office you choose to work in will play a huge role in what your schedule looks like on a day-to-day basis. But unlike dental hygienists (who usually only work part-time), dental assistants tend to have a full-time career which brings the traditional job benefits along with it. Plus, you’ll probably get access to free or discounted dental care for your family as an added perk.
Career Goals and Growth
You only need a high school diploma to begin dental assistant school. After that, you can continue your career working as a dental assistant or even move on to managing a dental office one day. Dental office managers frequently begin their careers as dental assistants, learning the ropes of the practice and what it takes to help it be productive. Others continue to work but go back to school to become a dental hygienist, which requires as little as an associate degree to earn your license. Beginning as a certified dental assistant allows you to dive right into a fulfilling career while also having more options if you want additional goals in the future!
If you’re great with your hands, comfortable scheduling appointments, and enjoy meeting new people, a career in the oral health field may be the perfect fit for you. You’ll learn everything from dental radiology and medical screening to placing temporary crowns and treatment planning. Today, dental professionals play a firsthand role in improving the day-to-day lives of other people.
Job Placement and Success Rates
Our vocational school works directly with local dentists and dental offices to help place new dental assisting graduates from our program. Since you’ll be assisting dentists in clinical tasks during your training, you will have the firsthand experience to help dental practices grow and flourish. Your experience will help you be a competitive job applicant once you complete our dental assisting program, allowing you to apply for jobs right away. Our dental assistants work with family dentists, endodontists, pediatric practices, orthodontic providers, oral surgery centers, and more. Since area dental offices know our graduates receive detailed, hands-on training in real dental offices, they make excellent candidates for any dental office.
Dental Assisting Programs in Oregon, Washington
Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School offers complete training for dental assisting in the greater Northwest region. Whether you live in Oregon or Washington, our dental assistant school can help you reach your career goals and meet certified dental assistant requirements for where you choose to work.
Our dental assistant programs are easy to afford and get you working in no time. Plus, financial aid programs are accepted, and there are flexible payment options so that you can afford tuition as soon as you’re ready to get started.
Discover how you can become a registered dental assistant. Call us today to learn more about enrollment, financial assistance, and how quickly you can get enrolled in our program today.