hourly pay for Dental Assistants
do Dental Assistants make a lot of money

Dental Assistants

Other names for this job might include Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Aide, Dental Assistant (DA), Dental Nurse, Dental Office Manager, Dentist Attendant, Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Expanded Function Dental Assistant, Oral Surgery Assistant

  • $37890
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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How Much Do Dental Assistants Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Dental Assistants make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Dental Assistant will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$37890 per year

Hourly wage
$18.220 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Dental Assistants make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Dental Assistants is $37890. Their salary can also be as low as $25460 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $52000 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $18.220 and can range from $12.240 to $25.000 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Dental Assistant will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Dental Assistant to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Dental Assistants make with other careers, they have a salary rank of D.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$25.000$52000
Senior (Top 25%)$21.720$45170
Middle (Mid 50%)$17.760$36940
Junior (Bottom 25%)$14.620$30410
No experience (Bottom 10%)$12.240$25460

Entry-level Dental Assistants who starts out at $30410 can expect to make $36940 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $12.240 per hour while the top 10% makes over $25.000 per hour.

While the median wage is $36940 per annum or $17.760 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, State government owned21.8845520
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities21.3744450
Finance and Insurance20.8143280
Hospitals, State government owned20.0141620
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned19.5440640
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)19.540550
Insurance Carriers19.4140370
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals19.1639850
Federal Executive Branch18.9739460
Federal government, including the US Postal Service18.9739460
Federal, State, and Local Government18.7338960
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service18.7338960
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, State government owned18.5538580
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service18.4738420
Educational Services, Local government owned18.4338330
State government, including schools and hospitals18.4338330
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)18.0237470
Hospitals, Privately owned17.9437310
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)17.9337300
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)17.937230
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned17.8737170
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities17.7836980
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned17.636600
Educational Services, State government owned17.5836570
Facilities Support Services17.5236450
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)17.5136430
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)17.536410
Offices of Dentists17.4436270
All industries17.4336260
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)17.4136200
Ambulatory Health Care Services17.436200
All industries, private ownership only17.436190
Local government, including schools and hospitals17.3736140
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals17.3636110
Educational Services, Privately owned17.3436070
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned17.3336060
Employment Services17.335990
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services17.2735920
Administrative and Support Services17.2735920
Hospitals, Local government owned17.2535880
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned17.2535880
Outpatient Care Centers17.1935760
Home Health Care Services17.1835730
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations17.0535460
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)17.0135380
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations17.0135380
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services16.9135170
All Other Ambulatory Health Care Services16.9135170
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services16.935150
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities16.8435020
Vocational Rehabilitation Services16.634540
Management of Companies and Enterprises16.2433770
Offices of Physicians16.1933670
Social Assistance16.1133500
Individual and Family Services15.6132460
Miscellaneous Manufacturing15.4132060
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing15.4132060
Offices of Other Health Practitioners15.3431910
Offices of All Other Health Practitioners15.3431910

Not all industries pay the same for Dental Assistants.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Dental Assistant is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NH doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at NH may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Dental Assistants are in the states of NH, AK, MN, MA and ND. The average salary in NH is $45480.

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Rank: C+
Salary: $35440

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Rank: A+
Salary: $71970

They clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
Rank: A
Salary: $57510

They take x rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient’s blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other scanning modalities.
Rank: A
Salary: $45010

They assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon’s assistants, hold retractors, cut sutures, and help count sponges, needles, supplies, and instruments.
Rank: A
Salary: $45620

They conduct electroneurodiagnostic (END) tests such as electroencephalograms, evoked potentials, polysomnograms, or electronystagmograms. May perform nerve conduction studies.

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