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The outlook is good for careers in healthcare, and dentistry is an important part of healthcare. Projections indicate that there will continue to be a need for qualified dental assistants well into the new century. Employment opportunities in dental assisting continue to exist in southeastern Minnesota.
Placement of RCTC Dental Assisting graduates seeking employment has been good!
TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT SETTINGS:
A dental assistant may be employed in any of the following types of dental practices.
Specialty Dental Practices:
- Pediatric Dental Practice
- Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery
There are also a variety of types of dental care delivery options for employment.
- Solo dental practices (one dentist)
- Group dental practices (two or more dentists)
- Hospital dentistry
- Research institutions
- Government dental facilities: Veteran's hospitals, prisons, armed forces
- Dental schools
Some employment opportunities exist for dental product manufacturers and dental supply companies.
Salary ranges vary depending upon credentials, job description and geographic location. In this area, graduates entering the job market as a Certified and Licensed Dental Assistant have started in the range of $16.00 to $18.00 per hour (according to the most recent RCTC Dental Assisting graduate survey). The State average salary is $20.00 per hour for a Certified and Licensed Dental Assistant (according to the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc., 2008 Salary Survey).
Benefit packages vary from office to office. Common benefits may include:
- Paid vacation, sick days (well days), and holidays
- A uniform allowance
- Continuing dental education fees
- Dental benefits
- Health insurance or a cafeteria plan toward the purchase of insurance
- Profit sharing and incentive plans
IS DENTAL ASSISTING FOR YOU?
DESIRABLE ATTRIBUTES FOR DENTAL ASSISTANTS:
- Personable, friendly, cheerful, positive, a "people person"
- Has excellent communication skills
- Has excellent manual dexterity
- Enjoys caring for others
- Demonstrates compassion and empathy
- Flexible, enjoys variety, adaptable
- Demonstrates initiative, a self starter, self motivated
- Strives for excellence and efficiency in all tasks
- Is dependable, has excellent attendance
- Enjoys being busy
- Enjoys working in a professional environment
- Enjoys and accepts new challenges
- Functions effectively as a member of a team
- ENJOYS SMILING!
Dental assistants generally enjoy excellent work schedules. The majority of dental offices are open Monday through Friday, with patient treatment hours from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. (Very few dental offices have evening or weekend hours.)
The majority of dental assisting positions are full-time, however, part-time positions and job-share positions are available.
Dental staff routinely attend dental meetings and conferences to update their skills and to learn new dental techniques. This also provides them the opportunity to network with other dental professionals throughout the state or nation.