Is Dental Assisting the Right Career for You?

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Are you thinking of pursuing a career in dental assisting but not sure whether it’s the right move? 

Dental assistants play an important role in the dispensation of oral healthcare services in a wide variety of settings. From preparing patients for dental procedures to getting dental equipment ready and standing ready to take instructions from dentists, the importance of these professionals cannot be overstated. 

But is it the right career for you? Are you better off pursuing another career in the healthcare industry? 

In this article, our goal is to flesh out information that will help you make a smart decision on whether this is the right career for you. 

Read on to learn more about starting a career in dental assisting! 

Fast Job Growth 

Who wants to spend several months hunting for a job? 

If you’re like most job seekers, you want to get a job as soon as you graduate from college. Unfortunately, your ability to get hired fast depends on a number of factors, some of which are out of your control. One such factor is the profession's job growth rate. 

If you’re pursuing a career that has a low growth rate, it means employment opportunities are far and few between. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dental assistants will grow 7 percent through the next decade, creating about 400,000 new job positions. This growth rate is faster than the average for all jobs in the U.S. 

So, if you’re currently taking your healthcare training to become a dental assistant, you’re very likely to find a job as soon as you graduate. 

Quick Training Programs 

Speaking of the training you need to become a dental assistant; can you think of a health career that doesn’t need years upon years of college before you can graduate? 

Well, you don’t need to spend close to a decade in college to become a dental assistant – that’s the length of training dentists need, though! 

If you were shying away from this career because you thought you’d undergo training for a long time, we’re happy to tell you that you can become a dentist in under two years. 

Typically, you need to pursue a dental assisting program, which is offered as an associate degree. In some states, you might not even need to complete a formal training program. You can get started with on-the-job training. 

An Opportunity to Help Others 

If you’re passionate about helping others and would love to work in healthcare, this could be the right job for you. At the heart of it, dental assisting is really about helping people with oral health problems. 

A Competitive Salary 

On average, dental assistants earn about $40,000 annually. 

Of course, there are several factors that will determine your pay, but going with this as a ballpark figure, it’s clear dental assistants are well-compensated -- especially considering the level of training required. 

To enhance your chances of starting out with a higher salary, it’s advisable to pursue an associate’s degree instead of an apprenticeship program. 

Dental Assisting Could Be the Career for You 

There are pros and cons to pursuing a career in dental assisting, just as you would expect any career to have. However, with dental assisting, there’s no doubt the benefits outweigh the downsides. What are you waiting for? 

Keep tabs on our Frugal Finance blog for more dentist work and career advice. We publish a wide variety of helpful articles on dental assisting, dentistry, healthcare jobs, and medical careers.