Dental assistants

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Total Workforce
299k
Average Age
37
Average Salary
$32,574
Average Male Salary
$58,342
Average Female Salary
$30,923

About

Dental assistants are most often employed by the Offices of dentists industry. The average yearly wage for Dental assistants was $32,574 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Dental assistants by wage are Shipping, receiving, & traffic clerks, Plasterers & stucco masons, and Upholsterers.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Dental assistants are Hancock & Shelby Counties PUMA, IN, Collin County (East) PUMA, TX, and Oakland County (Southeast) PUMA, MI. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Dental assistants are Hancock & Shelby Counties PUMA, IN, Collin County (East) PUMA, TX, and Tucson City (South) PUMA, AZ.

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Dental assistants and on wages and locations for those in the field. Offices of dentists is the industry that employs the most Dental assistants, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Dental assistants, by average wage, is U. S. Army. Dental assistants are paid most in Plano City (West) PUMA, TX but are relatively concentrated in Hancock & Shelby Counties PUMA, IN.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$32,574
AVERAGE SALARY
± $1,360

In 2018, Dental assistants earned an average of $32,574, $21,314 less than than the average national salary of $53,888.

Shipping, receiving, & traffic clerks make somewhat more than Dental assistants while Plasterers & stucco masons make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Dental assistants as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.294
WAGE GINI

In 2018, Dental assistants had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.294, which is lower than than the national average of 0.479. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Dental assistants (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Dental assistants.

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Spatial Concentration

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Dental assistants.

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Industries

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Industries by Share

299k
2018 Workforce
± 13,404
2.62%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 6.23%

The number of people employed as Dental assistants has been growing at a rate of 2.62%, from 291,031 people in 2017 to 298,668 people in 2018.

This graphic shows the share of Dental assistants employed by various industries. Offices of dentists employs the largest share of Dental assistants at  94.8%, followed by General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals with 0.976% and Outpatient care centers with 0.845%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Dental assistants in the US. The average age of male Dental assistants in the workforce is 36.3 and of female Dental assistants is 37, and the most common race/ethnicity for Dental assistants is White (Non-Hispanic).

Gender Composition

18k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 3,293
281k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 12,995

94% of Dental assistants are Female, making them the more common gender in the occupation. This chart shows the gender breakdown of Dental assistants.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Dental assistants
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. White (Hispanic)
  3. Black (Non-Hispanic)

57.6% of Dental assistants are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 15.4% of Dental assistants, White (Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Dental assistants.

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Age by Gender

36.3
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 2.35
37
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.601

The median age of Dental assistants is 37, and Male employees are generally 0.727 years younger than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Dental assistants from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Dental assistants is Health but a relatively high number of Dental assistants hold a major in Parks, Recreation, & Leisure.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degree-majorss. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree-majors obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Dental assistants from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dental assistants need many skills, but most especially Active Listening, Reading Comprehension, and Speaking. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Dental assistants need more than the average amount of Equipment Maintenance, Equipment Selection, and Repairing.

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