What is a Dental Assistant/Receptionist

Are you interested in pursuing a career that comes with a mix of administrative and clinical duties? If you love working with people, helping with complex tasks, and want to get to work in as little as nine months, a career as a dental assistant may be right for you. A dental assistant is a dental health professional who works closely or under the supervision of a dentist. This is the career for those who wish to undergo short post-secondary training and then work in a rapidly growing industry. Today, Dental assistants have become a popular career choice for many reasons, including job stability, flexible schedule, quick entry into the workforce, and the ability to help others. It is an exciting role that blends the service elements of health care with office administration and scheduling.

Being a dental assistant, you will be a vital member of your oral health care team, with comprehensive and extensively varied duties. Your core responsibility is to assist dentists, hygienists, and therapists with a variety of dental procedures. Other duties may include patient care, recordkeeping, appointment scheduling, and providing a spectrum of services to support both dentists and administrative staff. Typically, you'll start your day preparing the examination room and dental equipment. You'll be the first face that patients see when they arrive at the dentist's office, so you need to be friendly and compassionate. Usually, you'll work full-time in a dental practice, where you'll spend much of your day working closely with patients and dentists. You may work part-time, that allows an appealing work/life balance.

Now, how can you become a dental assistant? There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. In some states, there are no formal educational requirements, while others require their dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state certification exam. Becoming a dental assistant is both professionally and financially rewarding. Being a chair-side caregiver, you can make an average annual wage of $37,000. However, your salaries can vary by the level of experience, geographical location, and nature of your duties assigned. A dental assistant is a fun, fast-paced, and growing career path where undertaking vocational training, further education, and experience can substantially increase your chances of employment, financial remuneration, and career advancement. Not only that, but dental assisting is forecast to be one of the fastest-growing health care occupations of the coming years. As U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, meaning the job outlook is much faster than the average for all occupations. As ongoing research reveals the link between oral and general health, the demand for preventive dental services is rapidly growing, which has led to the opening for more dental practices, and the greater need for dental assistants.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Dental Assistant/Receptionist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $17.9 an hour? That's $37,226 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 38,700 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Dental Assistant/Receptionist Do

There are certain skills that many Dental Assistant/Receptionists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Detail oriented, Dexterity and Interpersonal skills.

Learn more about what a Dental Assistant/Receptionist does

How To Become a Dental Assistant/Receptionist

If you're interested in becoming a Dental Assistant/Receptionist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 22.3% of Dental Assistant/Receptionists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.0% of Dental Assistant/Receptionists have master's degrees. Even though some Dental Assistant/Receptionists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Dental Assistant/Receptionist. When we researched the most common majors for a Dental Assistant/Receptionist, we found that they most commonly earn Associate Degree degrees or Bachelor's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Dental Assistant/Receptionist resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Dental Assistant/Receptionist. In fact, many Dental Assistant/Receptionist jobs require experience in a role such as Dental Assistant. Meanwhile, many Dental Assistant/Receptionists also have previous career experience in roles such as Cashier or Receptionist.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Western Dental Jobs (40)
  2. Heartland Dental Jobs (19)
  3. Affordable Care Jobs (26)
  4. Ocean Dental Corporate Office Jobs (19)
  5. Aspen Dental Management Jobs (59)
Average Salary
$37,226
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
90,687
Job Openings
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Dental Assistant/Receptionist Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Dental Assistant/Receptionist

Dental Assistant/Receptionists in America make an average salary of $37,226 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $58,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Salary
$37,226
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12 Dental Assistant/Receptionist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Dental Assistant/Receptionist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Dental Assistant/Receptionist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Dental Assistant/Receptionist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Western Dental Jobs (40)
  2. Heartland Dental Jobs (19)
  3. Affordable Care Jobs (26)
  4. Ocean Dental Corporate Office Jobs (19)
  5. Aspen Dental Management Jobs (59)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Dental Assistant/Receptionist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Dental Assistant/Receptionist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Dental Assistant/Receptionist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Dental Assistant/Receptionist Demographics

Dental Assistant/Receptionist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
7%
Female
Female
93%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Dental Assistant/Receptionists, 93.3% of them are women, while 6.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Dental Assistant/Receptionists is White, which makes up 55.2% of all Dental Assistant/Receptionists.

  • The most common foreign language among Dental Assistant/Receptionists is Spanish at 66.3%.

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Dental Assistant/Receptionist Education

Dental Assistant/Receptionist Majors

13.0 %

Dental Assistant/Receptionist Degrees

Associate

24.9 %

Bachelors

22.3 %

High School Diploma

21.3 %
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Online Courses For Dental Assistant/Receptionist That You May Like

Introduction to Dental Medicine
coursera

The mouth is the window into human health. This course provides an overview of dental medicine to engage, educate, excite and assist you in improving the oral health of your patients and members of your community. We will review topics in dental medicine including scope of the field, what to expect in function, and some of the many ways that dysfunction may present for different patients. This will include discussions of mouth, jaw, and tooth anatomy, pathology, and treatment. We will talk about...

Implant Dentistry
coursera

Implant Dentistry is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing areas within oral health care. In spite of increasing popularity of implantology, it is a relatively new discipline within dental education and remains limited to post-graduate courses offered by dental schools in many parts of the world today. With the vision to help dental practitioners gain clinical understanding of implantology and an opportunity to provide implant treatments to their patients, the Faculty of Dentistry of HK...

Digital Biomaterials
edX (Global)

Learn from a dynamic team of 25 dental practitioners and researchers across 10 dental specialties from around the world led by HKU’s Professor Jukka P. Matinlinna and Dr James K.H. Tsoi. In this 4-Week-4-Module course, Digital Biomaterials, you will not only learn the special properties of novel biomaterials in oral health care, but you will be introduced to the crucial and dramatic roles of digital dentistry in contemporary oral health care. New technology development and breakthroughs in...

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Top Skills For a Dental Assistant/Receptionist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.1% of Dental Assistant/Receptionists listed Dental Procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as Detail oriented and Dexterity are important as well.

Best States For a Dental Assistant/Receptionist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Dental Assistant/Receptionist. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, and California. Dental Assistant/Receptionists make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $45,771. Whereas in Hawaii and Alaska, they would average $44,968 and $44,527, respectively. While Dental Assistant/Receptionists would only make an average of $43,282 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Dental Assistant/Receptionist Jobs:
571
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
1.22
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maine

Total Dental Assistant/Receptionist Jobs:
243
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
1.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Dental Assistant/Receptionist Jobs:
1,323
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Dental Assistant/Receptionists

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Top Dental Assistant/Receptionist Employers

Most Common Employers For Dental Assistant/Receptionist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Dental Assistant/Receptionist SalaryAverage Salary
1$36,991
2$36,980
3$36,675
4$36,659
5$36,569
6$36,403