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Dental Assisting Schools and Programs

Employment opportunities in the health care industry is expected to grow as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data of 2010 between 2010 and 2020. You may so consider pursuing a career as a dental assistant.

How to Pursue a Dental Assistant Program

Dental assistants may work under the supervision of dentists. Depending on the dentist and the laws of the state in which you work, you may perform a variety of tasks ranging from greeting patients, to keeping patient records, sterilizing equipment, taking x-rays, performing laboratory tasks, and assisting the dentist chair-side. Note that dental assistant and dental hygienist are two distinct job functions, and in most states, the job positions may have different training and licensure requirements. The vast majority of dental assistants may work in dental offices, although some work in doctor's offices and for governmental agencies.

Career Outlook for Dental Assistant

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the field of dental assisting is projected to expand by 31 percent between 2010 and 2020, making it one of the fasting growing of all occupations. As of May 2010 there were more than 297,200 dental assistants working in the U.S.

Dental Assistant Compensation

The median annual wage for dental assistants as of 2010 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics Data was $33,470. The lowest 10 percent of dental assistants earned a median annual wage of $22,680, while the top 10 percent earned a median annual wage of $47,090.

Dental Assistant Education

Educational requirements vary from state to state. In a few states no formal degree or certificate may be required, with assistants learning on the job. However, most states may have certification, registration, or licensure requirements. Certification may be available through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and may be recognized or required in more than 30 States. Many vocational schools and community colleges may offer the training required by your state. Before investing in training, be sure to check your state's Web site for requirements specific to where you intend to work.