In every well established dental practice there is a dental assistant. The dental assistant is charged with a number of duties within the practice and these may include, but are not limited to, administrative duties, patient care and laboratory responsibilities. Within the job environment, the position is important as it is the support system the dentist and dental hygienist depend on to ensure the practice runs smoothly.
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Dental Assistant Careers in Washington, DC
There are many reasons why one may be interested in pursuing a dental assistant career. The position offers on-the-job training and also has good career prospects for advancement. Dental assistants who have gathered adequate experience over time have the possibility of becoming office managers, instructors, and dental sales representatives and so on. However, this career is only limited for those who have a certain level of education. However, due to the dental assistant training schools available, the dental assistant can advance their career into a dental hygienist on completion of the required courses.
Dental Assistant Salary & Job Outlook in Washington, DC
Dental assistants can look forward to an excellent job market in the field. This is because as of 2012, dental assistants held over a quarter of a million jobs in the US alone. The projected growth rate for this job market is 31% per year throughout 2020. The prospective dental assistant in the DC area can look forward to an average of $41,730 per year or roughly $20.06 per hour. With this outlook, it is clear why a career in this field would be a good fit for those interested in this kind of profession. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Becoming a dental assistant requires a minimum of a high school diploma. Most of the training in this profession is received on-the-job. Those interested in this profession may consider taking up science lessons while in high school as this goes a long way towards setting one well off on this career path. However, some community colleges, trade and technical institutes do offer training. Moreover, in some states, licensing is required in order to practice.
Financial Aid Information
Most dental assistant schools offer scholarships to qualified students. However this is determined by how early the student applies for one as well as the requirements for the individual schools. In addition, federal grants are another source of financial aid. These include the Pell grants, consolidation loans amongst others.
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