Dental Assistant Salary

If you’re considering a career in dental assisting, one of your top questions is probably, “How much do dental assistants make?” The dental assistant salary can vary depending on many factors, such as location and experience.

For example, dental assistants in major metropolitan areas tend to earn more than dental assistants who live in smaller towns. Experience is also an important factor – dental assistants with more experience tend to earn more per hour than those who are new to the field. Job titles may also play a role – Expanded Functions Dental Assistants typically earn more because of additional responsibilities. 

Although there is a lot of variety in dental assistant salaries, some recent salary surveys can help you learn more about what you might expect to make as a dental assistant.

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) conducts its dental assistant salary survey every two years. The 2020-2021 survey includes responses from DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificants and dental assistants who are not certified.

The survey showed the salary for dental assistants who hold CDA certification was just over $2 more per hour compared to other dental assistants’ pay. Dental assistants who hold CDA certification earned a median hourly wage of $22.09 compared to the national median rate of $19.80 per hour.*

Dental assistant pay is not the only factor to consider. It is worth examining whether you get benefits as a dental assistant. According to DANB’s survey results, dental assistants who hold CDA certification reported receiving more professional benefits compared to those who are not certified, such as paid vacation, paid holidays, retirement plans, health insurance, paid sick leave and bonuses.

To learn more about how much dental assistants make and dental assistants hourly salary, download the complete DANB Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey.

Download the report

*Compared to figures from the 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures are based on median hourly wages of dental assistants working full time (35+ hours per week).

Ready to take the next step?
Learn more about DANB exams and certifications.

Looking to prepare for DANB exams?
The DALE Foundation offers online study aids to help you get ready for exam day.
Study for DANB exams.

Prefer to talk over the phone? Give us a call! 1-877-510-3253