If you’re looking to start a career in a field where the job outlook is great, you can’t go wrong becoming a dental assistant. The healthcare industry is one of the most secure job industries in the country, and becoming a dental assistant can help open the door to a bright future and stable career with advancement opportunities.

Adorable kid lying in dental chair beside female dental assistant.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Dental assistants are an important part of any dental team. They work closely with dentists, providing support and assistance throughout procedures. Dental assistants typically perform a variety of tasks which include preparing patients for dental treatment, sterilizing equipment, taking X-rays, keeping the dentist’s office organized, and providing patient education.

Where Can You Work as a Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants can find employment in a variety of settings, including private dental practices, public health clinics, hospitals, and research facilities. Some dental assistants may even choose to work in education or sales.

What Are The Job Prospects For Dental Assistants?

The job outlook for dental assistants is very positive. Currently, there are an estimated 330,200 dental assistant jobs in the U.S. alone. In fact, the profession is expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is predicted to increase 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average occupation. It’s also estimated that there will be around 44,000 job openings for dental assistants every year for the next decade.

The growing demand for dental care and an aging population will be the main drivers of this growth. Additionally, as dentists increasingly utilize dental assistants to perform a variety of tasks in their practices, demand for these workers will continue to increase.

Why Become a Dental Assistant?

There are countless reasons to consider becoming a dental assistant. Besides the fact that the job outlook is a positive one, the following are a few reasons why you may want to pursue a job as a dental assistant:

  • You can make a difference in people’s lives. Dental assistants play an important role in providing quality dental care to patients.

  • You can have a flexible work schedule. Many dental assistants have the opportunity to work part-time or full-time schedules.

  • You can earn a good salary. The median annual wage for dental assistants was $38,660 a year or $18.59 per hour in 2021.

  • It’s a stable profession. Dental assistant jobs are not susceptible to the ups and downs of the economy like some other professions.

  • You don’t need a four-year degree. You can become a dental assistant with only a two-year associate’s degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school.

  • It can be a stepping stone to other careers. Dental assisting can be a great stepping stone to other careers in the dental field, such as dental hygienist, dentist, or orthodontist. 

How to Become a Dental Assistant

If you’re interested in becoming a dental assistant, there are a few things you need to do. First, you’ll want to complete a dental assisting program and pass a state-specific exam to earn your license or certification. Once you have your license or certification, you can start working as a dental assistant.

The job outlook for dental assistants in the U.S. continues to look bright. If you’re interested in helping people and want a job that’s not only secure, but that offers opportunities for advancement in the future, then reach out to us at South Florida Dental Assisting School for more information about our dental assistant programs.