Dental assistants are a necessary and growing part of health care. They may care for patients, do data entry and other technical work, perform x-rays or other laboratory activities, care for patients, and more. Dental assistants can start their career sooner because they do not need the longer training necessary to become a dental hygienist. Dental assistants must be responsible, as they need to be able to work well in a team and under a supervisor (dentist). They should have good dexterity with their hands and a pleasant attitude, since they may frequently need to calm and relax the dentist’s patients.
Connecticut Dental Assistant Schools Enrolling Now
Salary Outlook for Dental Assistants
Statistics from 2010 show that Connecticut dental assistants make around $19.56 an hour, or around $40,680 per year. Many people enter the profession because it allows many opportunities for advancement in addition to the pay. For example, DAs can move into sales of dental products, train new dental assistants on the job, or even manage a dental office. Dental assistants can also advance to become dental hygienists. For many advancement opportunities (particularly hygienist), seeking additional education may be necessary. The same 2010 statistics show a 10 year forecast for steady increase of 31% (much faster than average) in need for dental hygienists in the job market. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Education and Training
Dental assistants gain experience on the job, but junior and community colleges, tech schools, the Military, and trade schools in various places all offer classes for dental assistants. Dental assistants taking classroom courses will need to pass classes on subjects like the biological and health sciences, chemistry, as well as technical training for office software and data entry.
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