What most individuals do not realize is that high paid dental assistants often have to work their way up in the ranks. For example, if you are just out of school and trying to find a high paying dental assistant job it is common and disappointing for most when they find out that the job they thought would be so easy for them to obtain is not a reality. Dental assistants, depending on the dentist or group that is hiring them, are often paid different amounts, but it is not irregular for them to be paid less when they begin.
Usually young college students that are just beginning will be able to make around ten dollars an hour for their services, which is low for a dental assistant job. Just realize that your pay is going to go up and you will not be living on ten dollars an hour for the rest of your life. Stick with the job and you will see pay increases that are often given in the first few months after you have been hired. Well, I take that back, you will see pay increases in the first few months if you can show the dentist that you are honest and a good worker; or in other words, a reliable assistant that he would want to keep around.
Though I said ten dollars an hour is low for a dental assistant, make sure that you ask and inquire about the pay in the area that you live in. The jobs and pay will vary depending on the area that you are trying to get the job in.
Pay Raises?! Really?
One of the most fantastic parts of any job is the surprise of having your boss tell you that he is going to raise your pay and you will now be getting more money. This is one of the best bonuses of becoming a dental assistant. This is because it has become very common for individuals to start as a dental assistant making what they thought was decent pay and then after working for a little while they will receive the word that they are going to be paid more for their services.
However, there sometimes can be a catch with this. What some dentists do if they really want to keep you working for them if they have found that you are reliable then they will make you sign a contract. Now, this contract will entitle you to more money if you continue working for this dentist, but it also jeopardizes your opportunity to quit and work for other dentists offices for a certain amount of time. These contracts will be different depending on the dentist and how much he wants to keep you around, but I have personally seen some of them last for as long as two years that you are stuck with the one dentists office. So, read between the lines of the “raise” the dentist is giving you and make sure you go over every detail before signing a contract with your employer.
Now, if you are fine with working for your boss for an extended period of time, and feel comfortable signing a legal document stating that, then you may see as much as a two dollar an hour raise!! This is rare for employees throughout the world to get a raise as large as this but dentists offer it because they want to make sure that you will continue to work for them. It also gives them a reason to trust you and more openly give you certain privileges that some of the longer working employees have such as keys to the building, etc.
Long Term Dental Assistant Pay
Now, the moment that you have been waiting for. The curtain has finally rose and I can share with you that the average for a long-term dental assistant to make is around fifteen dollars per hour. This is with the included benefits of insurance and life long work done at the dentists office for free. Of course not every office works the same, but most of the ones that I have been through and have worked with have had similar programs or offerings just like the one I just explained. This makes it worth it to go through the schooling to become a dental assistant because you will be making far more than your friends will at your local Burger King while they continue going to college. An option that most dental assistants do is that they earn the education in order to get the assistant job and then they will work doing that while they continue going to school so that they earn a higher degree and possibly open up their own office.