Do you want to work in the healthcare field, but don’t want to go to college very long? You can become a dental assistant, earn a livable wage, with minimal college education, or sometimes just on-the-job training.
2017 Median Pay: $37,360/year; $18.09/hour
Typical Entry-Level Education: minimal college education or on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016: 332,000
Job Outlook 2016-26: 19% (much faster than average)
Employment Change 2016-26: 64,600
What They Do
Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.
Almost all dental assistants work in dentists’ offices. Most work full time.
How To Become One
There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements and dental assistants learn how to perform their jobs through on-the-job training.
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Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Students can email Mrs. Mendez at email@example.com if they want information on a specific career. She may even use it in a future Spotlight!