Dental offices would stop functioning without dental assistant jobs. Busy dentists aren't able to be with patients at all times and are usually focused on performing technical or complex dental treatments. Dental assistants are needed to make patients comfortable and assist dentists during dental procedures. You can usually become a dental assistant with a high school diploma and just a couple years of extra education or training.
You may want to consider a job as a dental assistant if you enjoy bringing a smile to the faces of both coworkers and patients and working in a calm environment with high hygiene standards. You'll be reviewing and updating patients' health histories, recording patient concerns, preparing the exam room for appointments, disinfecting and sterilizing instruments, cleaning treatment rooms, and giving patients instructions for oral care after surgery. These skills are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistant jobs are projected to increase by 7% over the next decade.
For a list of current openings, check out our healthcare support jobs. We also have other positions that serve similar functions, such as:
What does it take to become a dental assistant? It depends on which state you live in. Some states require that you attend an accredited dental assisting program and pass a licensing exam, while others don't call for education beyond a high school diploma. Some dental offices prefer that you have a bachelor's degree. It can also be an asset if you pass a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination and have some experience with electronic medical records (EMR).
No matter which state you live in, you'll benefit from having organizational skills, verbal and written communication skills, the ability to work on a team, and an excellent bedside manner.
Every job application will ask for a resume. But don't worry! Writing a dental assistant resume doesn't have to be as painful as a root canal. Monster has the information you need to impress your local dental office in our sample dental assistant resume. And while you're here, why not add a dental assistant cover letter? Cover letters are an effective tool for personalizing your intent and showing hiring managers how your skills will benefit them.
Interviewing is sometimes the most stressful part of the job search. But there's no need to grind your teeth before the big day: Monster has advice on how to nail your interview. Read through our articles on interview questions to boost your chances of being hired. And beyond formulating strong answers, also remember nonverbal communication - stand or sit straight and make eye contact to radiate confidence and dress professionally to make a great first impression.
You've landed the job—now what? It's time to talk money. The median pay for a dental assistant in the U.S. is $17.63 an hour. The dental industry has plenty of career advancement opportunities, including becoming a dental hygienist. With more experience and education, you'll have opportunities to earn a higher salary.
Explore Monster's Salary Guide to discover what you can expect to earn with a dental assistant salary depending in the area you live in. Each salary page shows you salaries for related jobs, where in the country your skills are in high demand, and how you might want to advance in your dental career.
Ready to get started? Click on the dental assistant jobs available to you on Monster. Monster also offers you the option of creating a profile to find key information about jobs, keep track of your job submissions, and read career advice from our job experts.