Healthcare, Medical & Nursing - Dental Assistant
If you're searching for a career in the medical field without needing nearly a decade of academic study, a degree in a Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist program may be a great fit for you.
Types of Degrees
Dental Assistant students can pursue an associate degree (2 years) or bachelor's degree (4 years) to become a Dental Assistant, with the option to pursue a doctorate degree (~ 8 years) if they desire to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S). Upon graduation from a Dental Assistant program, most states require Dental Assistants to pass the national certification exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board. This exam results in receiving the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential and gives Dental Assistants the right to practice. Typically, certification is good for one year, and Dental Assistants must then take continuing education courses each year to become recertified.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required, with a strong academic background in math and science coursework helping applicants obtain acceptance into their desired school. Each school has its own specific requirements, making it important for you to explore several options before settling on a specific school.
Career Opportunities After Earning A Dental Assistant Degree
The range of career opportunities available to someone with a degree in a Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist program include:
- Dental Assistant
- Dental Hygienist
- Information based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.
Post Graduate Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Dental Assistant was $40,080 in 2019 (1) while Dental Hygienists earned a median salary of $76,220 in 2019. (2)
Note that the average salary varies widely not only depending on the career chosen but on geographical location and employer. Conditions in your area may vary.
Careers associated with these educational opportunities often require additional degrees and certifications not offered as part of the educational opportunities presented by this website.