Sometimes finding the perfect career is difficult. Other times, you already have an idea regarding what you’re most passionate about. Regardless, working as a dental assistant is often a great place to start for quite a number of reasons.
You’ll typically work in a calm and serene environment, the training is easy, and you can make a decent salary. Working in such a setting can also provide networking opportunities, as you’ll get to meet all sorts of people. Plus, you’ll also likely never get bored or run out of things to do.
Overall, there are really more pros than cons to this sort of job.
Requirements and Necessary Education
Becoming a dental assistant typically requires a 2-year associate’s degree. However, specific requirements do vary from state to state. In some cases, you may only need to spend one year getting certified. Additionally, there may even some opportunities that offer on the job training.
In short, it usually doesn’t take long to obtain the necessary requirements to find a job in this field. With the field growing constantly, there are almost always job openings available.
While your duties may vary depending on where you work, there are several common tasks you’ll likely fulfill. Most of the time, you’ll be working with patients. This means making small talk, doing routine cleanings, taking x-rays, and preparing patients for various procedures.
Typically, assistants support the dentist by handing over tools and operating various pieces of equipment. All of these tasks are crucial to ensuring procedures go well.
In addition to working with the dentist and his or her patients, assistants may also be tasked with administrative work. This often entails updating patients’ records, scheduling appointments, and perhaps minimal data entry.
Depending on the size of the office, however, some of these tasks may be delegated to other individuals.
Considering the low level of educational requirements, it’s no surprise it’s not the highest paying job in the medical field. Most dental assistants start off making around $25,000 to $30,000 a year, but there’s certainly room for growth.
Often, working as a dental assistant is a stepping stone for folks who are interested in the dental field. It’s not unusual for someone who’s working on a medical degree to moonlight as a dental assistant.
Plus, most of the time the job comes with good benefits, plenty of job security, and many other perks.