Four Benefits Of Becoming A Dental Assistant
Whether you love it or hate it, visiting the dentist is an important part of life. After all, while you may hate getting poked or prodded in the mouth, it’s important for your oral health and to make sure you don’t have any major issues or complications.
As important getting checkups and cleanings are, the people performing those tasks are important. Dentists and dental assistants work to provide people with the best care they can.
While going through dental school can take many years of hard work, it’s also possible to work in the medical field as a dental assistant. There are a lot of benefits to dental assistant jobs in fact and they include:
- Good pay: Overall employment of dentists is projected to grow from 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. That growth means dental assistant jobs, dental receptionist jobs, dentist jobs and dental jobs in the field are in demand and they pay very well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for dentists in 2017 was more than $158,000. For dental hygienists, that number was more than $74,000. For dental assistants, the number ranges anywhere from $24,000 to $50,000 and there’s 401 (k), paid holidays and paid sick leave among other benefits. As if that weren’t enough, people working in dental assistant jobs have reported being very happy in their personal and professional lives and take pride in what they do.
- Something different: The everyday routine and rhythm of a desk job is appealing to some people. Others feel that desk jobs are confining and can become repetitive after a while. Dental assistant jobs are anything but boring. Every day brings something different and dental assistants don’t spend all day sitting in front of a computer. In addition, dental assistants get to wear comfortable clothes to work since they get to wear scrubs.
If you’re looking for an active, exciting job, being a dental assistant could be just the thing you’re looking for.
- Filling a need: As previously mentioned, the job outlook for dentists is good and that also means good things for those working dental assistant jobs. Not only is there a need for dentists and workers in the dental field, but people trust dentists. In fact, dentistry is considered one of the 10 most trusted and ethical professions in the United States.
If you’re interested in dental assistant jobs and considering a career change, you can feel good about your prospects because the field is growing, pays well, you’ll be trusted and you’ll be doing a lot to help people if that’s your calling in life.
- Work/Life balance: Some jobs have expectations and hours so grueling, it feels like you’re never caught up or you never really leave work. Dental assistants don’t have to feel that way. Most dentist offices are closed on holidays and weekends and keep regular hours, so you’ll be able to work a regular 8-to-5 or 9-to-5 job and hopefully not feel too overworked.
If you’re interested in dental assistant jobs, there are several steps you can take:
- Complete a dental assistant program, which is typically a two-year degree. You’ll receive training on oral anatomy, dental radiography, dental materials and CPR and first aid among other things.
- Try and find an externship, which will give you hands-on experience. Depending on where you’re going to school, many academic programs in the field offer externships, which show students the finer points of dentistry and give them real-world experience apart from what they learn in the classroom.
- Pick an area of dentistry you want to focus on. Focusing on general dental care is fine, but there are a lot of things you can specialize in including endodontics and pediatric dentistry.
- Complete the necessary licensing and certification requirements. Get other forms of certification and licensing if you need them, especially for specialty areas.
- Go out and find a job. There are plenty of dental hiring sites and jobs available.
Between the good pay, the opportunity to help people and provide them with an important and needed service, regular hours and good job outlook, there are plenty of advantages to becoming a dental assistant.