Dental Assistants

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What do they do?

Perform limited clinical duties under the direction of a dentist. Clinical duties may include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatment, assisting the dentist during treatment, and providing patients with instructions for oral healthcare procedures. May perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes.

Also known as:

Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Assistant (DA), Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Expanded Function Dental Assistant, Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA), Oral Surgery Assistant, Orthodontic Assistant (Ortho Assistant), Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), Surgical Dental Assistant

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Dental Assistants in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Dental Assistants is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 12.3%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #21 in job growth rate
  • 1,120

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #13 in net job growth

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Dental Assistants:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, All, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (1.9%)
  • Master's degree (1.3%)
  • Bachelor's degree (10.3%)
  • Associate's degree (20.1%)
  • Some college, no degree (38.1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (26%)
  • Less than high school diploma (2.2%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Clean medical equipment.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Maintain medical records.
  • Operate medical equipment.
  • Interview patients to gather medical information.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 25.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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