Know what's out there — your career in dental practice management

Understand the career paths you can take to advance your career in dental practice management.

Making a Career in Dental Practice Management

Discover the path that's right for you

The dental office manager is a unique position, as it stems from a variety of backgrounds. Maybe you got your start chairside, or maybe you worked as a receptionist and moved your way up. Perhaps you already hold a business degree or managed other types of professional offices or companies. Wherever your career path started, the biggest challenge ahead of you is determining what’s next.

There are a few main types of career paths you can follow: expanding your role and recognition within a dental practice; shifting your focus to speaking or consulting; or sharing your experience and broadening your skills by teaching. As you explore each path’s potential, here are some key milestones and educational opportunities to consider.

Growing within the dental practice

If the business side of the office is where your heart is, working in a dental practice might be a good path for you. There are a wide variety of titles and responsibilities, and whether you’re a dental office manager, patient coordinator, business manager, practice administrator or insurance and finance coordinator, you can find rewarding dental practice management career experience.

  • Explore Our Office Manager Courses-Our office manager courses were built with you in mind. Each course covers a unique aspect of business operations within dental practice management, and offers a verification of participation to add to your resume and display in your office. Check out our recommended office manager courses here.
  • Earn Your AADOM Fellowship-If you have more than 3 years experience, or your CDPMA*, this professional distinction is a great way to increase your visibility and career opportunities. To learn more about the program, visit AADOM's website.

*CDPMA is the acronym for Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator, a certification program previously provided but no longer available through DANB.

Sharing your experience

If you decide that your goals take you outside the office, there are still a variety of career growth opportunities within the dental field.

  • Become a Speaker or Consultant-While these professional roles are becoming more and more popular, there is not really a clear-cut path to pursuing them. Generally, you will want to have extensive industry experience, be heavily involved in the dental community and professional organizations, and offer a specific perspective or type of information that few others are providing. One way to start getting involved in the dental community is to check out our volunteer opportunities.
  • Become an Educator-If you have a background as a dental assistant, teaching is a rewarding way to share your experience and help others. While some dental assisting educators are able to obtain jobs based on their dental assisting work experience, dental assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) require educators to hold DANB Certification and work toward (and earn) a Bachelor’s Degree, to become a professional dental assisting educator. Or, if your experience is strictly in dental office management or human resources management, you may be able to share your expertise by teaching a course or section on office management topics within a dental assisting, dental hygiene, or dental school curriculum.
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