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Dental Support Services Major

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Dental Support Services

7,303 Associate's Degrees Annually
2,462 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#6 in Popularity (Associate's)
$43,180 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Dental Support Services Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many dental support services graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 10,602
Associate’s Degree 7,349
Basic Certificate 5,687

What Dental Support Services Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, dental support majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Dental Support Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Dental Support Majors

When studying dental support, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities for Dental Support Majors

As a dental support major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Dental Support Services Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with dental support:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Dental Assistants 19.5% $38,660
Dental Hygienists 19.7% $74,820
Dental Laboratory Technicians 14.4% $40,440

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Dental Support Services?

7,349 Associate's Degrees Annually
94% Percent Women
35% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen trade school majors. It is the 6th most popular in the country with 7,303 students graduating with an associate’s in dental support in 2019. The major attracts more women than men. About 94% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of dental support majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Dental Support Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 545
Black or African American 437
Hispanic or Latino 1,355
White 4,500
International Students 62
Other Races/Ethnicities 450

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Dental Support. About 0.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Venezuela
  • China
  • Libya

How Much Do Dental Support Services Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Dental Support majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $39,770 to $75,500 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Dental Support Services Major  ( 39770 to 75500 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with dental support may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for dental support careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 12.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 23.9%
Some College Courses 2.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 33.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 10.9%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.2%
Master’s Degree 6.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.7%
Doctoral Degree 4.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.2%

Online Dental Support Services Programs

In 2018-2019, 826 schools offered a dental support program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 210 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 491 9
Certificate (2-4 Years) 21 0
Associate’s Degree 452 10
Bachelor’s Degree 2 2
Post-Baccalaureate 210 2
Master’s Degree 21 9
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Dental Support Services Worth It?

The median salary for a dental support grad is $43,180 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 8% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $65,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dental support.

Major Number of Grads
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Mental & Social Health Services 27,743
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 11,961
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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