Dental Assistant Schools

Are you looking for dental assistant programs? Are you like other typical dental assistants, intrigued by dentistry but prefer a job that permits you to move around while performing your work?

What is a Dental Assistant?

What a dental assistant might do may vary a bit state by state, and depending on the dentists’ offices where they work, they generally perform tasks such as taking x-rays, scheduling appointments, and recordkeeping. Dental assistants wear protective clothing, safety masks, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients, along with following safety protocols.

What is the job description for a dental assistant?

A dental assistant carries out various work related assignments like:

  • Maintaining dental records
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Sterilizing dental instruments
  • Handing dentists instruments during procedures
  • Instructing patients in dental hygiene
  • Working with patients on billing and payment
  • Preparing the work area for patient treatment
  • Ordering and monitoring dental supplies and equipment inventory

What is the salary potential of a dental assistant?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 median dental assistant salary is $41,180 per year. And, the states with the highest employment levels within this occupation according to the BLS are: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.

Where do dental assistants work?

The BLS states that dental assistant jobs are in dentists’ offices often under the supervision of dentists. They also might work with dental hygienists throughout the day.

What dental assistant courses will I need to take?

Most dental assistant programs will typically take classes like these during their time as a student:

  • Preventive Dentistry
  • Dental Office Administration
  • Fundamentals of Dentistry
  • Dental Pharmacology
  • Dental Radiography
  • Restorative Dental Procedures

Top 15 Schools With Dental Assistant Programs

The dental assistant programs below are ranked according to total number of graduates reported by NCES in the 2018 school year. Salary information provided by College Scorecard.

1

Carrington College-Sacramento

This is an accredited dental assisting program that can be completed in nine months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
371
$18,450
$27,509 (Cert)
$60,264 (AAS)
2

San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 11 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
171
$18,526
$23,042 (Cert)
$66,150 (AAS)
3

Concorde Career College-San Antonio

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
159
$17,701
$22,420 (Cert)
$55,405 (AAS)
4

Ivy Tech Community College

This is a two year fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
129
$8,297
$29,290 (Cert)
$46,087 (AAS)
5

Concorde Career College-Aurora

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
123
$15,995
$25,024 (Cert)
$61,702 (AAS)
6

Concorde Career Institute-Tampa

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
100
$16,395
$24,808
7

Concorde Career College-Grand Prairie

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
99
$30,888
$21,964
8

American Career College-Los Angeles

This a fully accredited program that can be completed in 10 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
97
$18,550
$21,904
9

Concorde Career College-Portland

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
91
$16,516
$28,319
10

Texas State Technical College

This is a two year fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
78
$10,486
$22,306 (Cert)
$50,439 (AAS)
11

Concorde Career College-San Diego

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
77
$16,896
$21,935 (Cert)
$66,821 (AAS)
12

Ozarks Technical Community College

This is a two year fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
74
$6,0287
N/A (Cert)
$38,721 (AAS)
13

Concorde Career College-Dallas

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
69
$16,875
$25,024
$61,702
14

Concorde Career Institute-Miramar

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
65
$16,610
$23,149
15

Pima Medical Institute-Denver

This is a nine month fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
64
$14,770
$25,121 (Cert)
N/A (AAS)
16

Concorde Career College-Kansas City

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
63
$16,805
$22,420 (Cert)
$55,406 (AAS)
17

Kirkwood Community College

This is a two year fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
59
$6,736
N/A (Cert)
$35,772 (AAS)
18

American Career College-Ontario

This a fully accredited program that can be completed in 10 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
57
$36,900
$22,657
19

ECPI University

This is an accredited two year program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Associate
55
$16,639
$23,869
20

Concorde Career College-North Hollywood

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
50
$30,775
$23,087
21

Midwest Institute

This is a hands on accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
49
$29,985
$25,194 (Cert)
N/A (AAS)
22

Concorde Career Institute-Jacksonville

This is a fully accredited program that can be completed in 9 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
47
$50,048
$24,218
23

The College of Health Care Professions-Northwest

This is a 35 week fully accredited program.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
Associate
47
$17,350
$21,744 (Cert)
N/A (AAS)
24

American Career College-Anaheim

This a fully accredited program that can be completed in 10 months.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
46
$36,900
$21,904
25

Washtenaw Community College

This is a three semester program that is fully accredited.

Programs Offered
Total Grads in 2018
2020 Tuition & Fees
Salary After Graduating
Certificate
46
$5,688
$36,131

How can you pursue a career as a dental assistant?

While the requirements on how to become a dental assistant may vary state to state, according to the BLS, it may generally be a good idea to obtain postsecondary training in dental assisting if you are thinking about pursuing a career as a dental assistant. Some states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state test. 

Many times, these accredited programs are offered at community colleges and only take about a year to complete. Two year programs, also available at community colleges, are less common and usually lead to earning an associate’s degree.

Accredited programs typically include hands-on laboratory work, along with classroom activities. Students study gums, teeth, jaws, dental instruments, and other areas dentists work on. Supervised experience is included, too.

If becoming a dental assistant not for you, but you still want a career in allied health – explore other careers.

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