Become a Dental Assistant Instructor

The path to becoming an instructor

After working for many years as a dental assistant in a dental practice or another clinical setting, you may be looking to make a change. If you love dentistry but are seeking a new career direction, becoming a dental assistant instructor might be your ideal next step. This is because instructing offers many rewards. Dental assisting instructors can make a lifelong impact by giving the next generation of dental assistants the skills and confidence they need to succeed. If teaching is your calling, this is a great place to start.

Dental assistant instructor skills

To succeed as a dental assistant instructor, you need to be passionate about helping others achieve their career goals. Excellent planning, speaking and instructing skills are essential. You also must be able to connect with your students, so you can lead and motivate them to learn a wide range of skills, theories and information. Other useful qualities for instructors include strong written and verbal skills, as well as being comfortable with using online learning software.

Dental assistant instructor job description

Dental assistant instructors work with students to give them the education and tools they need for an entry-level dental assisting position. They teach within a dental assisting program typically at a community college, vocational-technical school, or high school. Dental assistant instructor jobs can be full- or part-time. The job of educating students is important, and there are many duties for those in this position. Having your own dental assisting class is a big responsibility. After preparing the curriculum materials for your class, you teach your students everything they need to know about dental assisting. You deliver lectures in the classroom, demonstrate skills in clinical settings, and give students hands-on experience in the lab. Along the way, you’re evaluating their performance, ensuring a safe learning environment, monitoring class attendance, and grading student assignments.

Dental assisting instructor salary

Pay levels vary widely and can depend on your level of education and the school where you work. In general, dental assisting instructors can earn anywhere between $20 and $30 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Program directors and administrative faculty at a dental assisting program can earn more.

Dental assistant instructor training

Having experience with working as a dental assistant is very important for becoming an instructor. Depending on where you teach, there may be specific education and certification requirements. Having a high school diploma or GED is essential, while an associate degree or higher is often preferred. In many cases, holding DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification or another dental credential is required.

How we can help

For all aspiring dental instructors, earning DANB’s CDA certification can help you stand out when applying for a dental assisting instructor job. The DALE Foundation offers review courses and practice tests to prepare for the CDA exam. And if you’re already an instructor, our courses and practice tests are a great supplement to your classroom teaching.

CDA Exam Prep

Educator Resources

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