Types of Degrees Dental Assisting/Assistant Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many dental assisting/assistant graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Dental Assisting/Assistant Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, dental assisting 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 Assisting Majors
Dental Assisting majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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 Assisting Majors
A major in dental assisting prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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 Assisting Majors
A major in dental assisting will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
What Can You Do With a Dental Assisting/Assistant Major?
People with a dental assisting degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Dental Assisting/Assistant?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of dental assisting majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||146|
|Hispanic or Latino||363|
Students from other countries are interested in Dental Assisting, too. About 0.8% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Dental Assisting/Assistant Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Dental Assisting majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $39,770 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Dental Assisting/Assistant
Some degrees associated with dental assisting 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 assisting careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||6.0%|
|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)||40.9%|
|Some College Courses||5.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||9.3%|
|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.||3.6%|
Online Dental Assisting/Assistant Programs
In the 2019-2020 academic year, 624 schools offered some type of dental assisting/assistant program. 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)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||481||1|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||5||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 Assisting/Assistant Worth It?
The median salary for a dental assisting grad is $39,770 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Trades Related to Dental Assisting/Assistant
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dental assisting.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician||268|
|Other Dental Services & Allied Professions||112|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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