Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists' offices where they work.
Almost all dental assistants work in dentists' offices. Most work full time.
There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements.
The median annual wage for dental assistants was $35,980 in May 2015.
Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for dental assistants.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of dental assistants with similar occupations.
Learn more about dental assistants by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.