How much does a dental assistant make per hour?

    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a dental assistant was $36,940 in 2016. This salary breaks down to $21.11 per hour based on working 50 weeks a year, at 35 hours per week.

    As of 2016, the forecast for dental assistants was positive, with projected employment growth of 31% from 2010 to 2020 versus the 14% growth rate expected for all other professions during the same period. This means the average wage of $21.11 hourly stated above could increase to $27.65 by 2020.

    What other details could affect a dental assistant salary?

    Your dental assistant salary can vary from the average stated above. Factors such as work environment and geographic region play a part in how much money a dental assistant can earn annually. Let’s look at these closer.

    What work environments pay dental assistants a higher wage?

    BLS statistics from May 2011 show that over 90% of dental assistants worked in dental practices, earning an average of $34,710 yearly. Dental assistants working at colleges and universities, and doctor’s offices earned slightly less: $33,790 a year on average.

    • Dental assistants earning more than this salary worked in the following settings:

    • General hospitals: $36,340 annually, or $19.83 hourly

    • State-run agencies: $36,790 annually, or $21.02 hourly

    • Federal government agencies: $38,180 annually, or $21.81 hourly

    What regions pay dental assistants the highest wage?

    Dental assistants tend to earn higher yearly salaries in the following areas:

    • The DC area – $48,040, or $27.45 per hour

    • Alaska – $42,520, or $24.29 per hour

    • New Hampshire – $42,510, or $24.29 per hour

    • Minnesota – $42,500, or $24.28 per hour

    • Massachusetts – $41,280, or $23.58 per hour

    The Great Lakes region, the West and the Northeast also tend to pay higher-than-average yearly wages, whereas West Virginia was the lowest at $25,870 per year, or $14.78 per hour.

    Other questions you might have about a dental assistant's salary

    When anyone is choosing a profession or considering a career change, one of the main points factoring in on the decision is salary. You need to be sure that your income can support your financial needs and the cost of living demands.

    Take a look below to see what hourly rate a dental assistant can expect, along with some other considerations to take into account before deciding to become a dental assistant.

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