Many workers in today’s sagging economy are losing their jobs. Many employees are suffering pay cuts and unstable working conditions and those who are let go are finding it difficult to locate new work. Now is a great time to shift your thinking, as many say the best time to pursue a career change and get into a new line of work can be during a recession. Tons of industries are actually growing in this economy and oftentimes it just takes a little consideration and a small amount of education to facilitate a change.
The dental industry is an example of a field that’s growing exponentially despite our recession. The average dental assistant salary, for example was roughly 36-42 thousand dollars annually in 2008, and the dental assistant hiring rate is expected to increase 36% between 2010 and 2018. Dental assistant training is a great way to shift into a more fulfilling and stable career, and while the average dental assistant salary can seem like it would take years of schooling to obtain, many dental assistant programs can be completed in a year or less, with associates degrees offered to students who complete two year curriculum that may be applicable to other areas of the health care industry.
Duties to Earn the Average Dental Assistant Salary
Earning the average dental assistant salary will likely have you working in a dental office. According to 2008 US Department of Labor stats, about 90% of dental assistants worked in private practices. The other 10% were able to find work in hospitals, physician’s offices or certain government buildings to earn the average dental assistant salary.
Dental assistants commonly perform tasks like prepping dentist chairs, setting up instruments for the dentist and even basic tasks like teeth cleaning. Assisting the dentist during operation and responsibility for instrument sterilization constitutes the bulk of the job description. Removal of stitches and execution of other small dental procedures, such as instructing patients on oral hygiene can constitute other daily duties in earning the average dental assistant salary.
Many dental assistants work in administrative capacities as well, for instance, assisting with billing, insurance coding and appointment setting in a front of office capacity for dental practices and clinics.
Dental Assistant Training and Certification
Most dental assistant training programs will only take a year to complete before it’s possible to get certified and begin job placement. Training programs usually consist of oral anatomy, physiology and pharmacology related to dentistry. Additionally, office skills for customer service and patient communication are taught, as well as exposure to current modern machinery, instruments and equipment found in most dental offices.
Dental Assistant Training Online
Many accredited programs offer dental assistant career training online, or a hybrid of online classes so students can work while they fulfill most of their requirements to change careers. With only a year lead-time, earning the average dental assistant salary may be easier than you think.