Dental assistants

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2019 Workforce
330k
Average Age
37.7
Estimated Job Growth
6.6%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$33,103
Average Male Salary
$51,148
Average Female Salary
$31,970

About

Dental assistants are most often employed by the Offices of dentists industry. The average yearly wage for Dental assistants was $33,103 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Dental assistants by wage are Shipping, receiving, & traffic clerks, Fence erectors, and Recreational therapists.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Dental assistants are Maui, Kalawao & Kauai Counties PUMA, HI, Dane County (West) PUMA, WI, and Outer Green Bay City PUMA, WI. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Dental assistants are Redding City PUMA, CA, Inside Beltway TX-8 PUMA, TX, and Outer Green Bay City PUMA, WI.

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 Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges. Dental assistants are paid most in Plano City (West) PUMA, TX but are relatively concentrated in Redding City PUMA, CA.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$33,103
AVERAGE SALARY
± $1,361

In 2019, Dental assistants earned an average of $33,103, $22,421 less than than the average national salary of $55,524.

Shipping, receiving, & traffic clerks make somewhat more than Dental assistants while Fence erectors 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

0.283
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Dental assistants had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.283, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. 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

Industries by Share

330k
2019 Workforce
± 14,082
10.4%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 5.61%

The number of people employed as Dental assistants has been growing at a rate of 10.4%, from 298,668 people in 2018 to 329,701 people in 2019.

This graphic shows the share of Dental assistants employed by various industries. Offices of dentists employs the largest share of Dental assistants at  95.4%, followed by General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals with 1.12% and Outpatient care centers with 0.881%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Dental assistants in the US. The average age of male Dental assistants in the workforce is 35.2 and of female Dental assistants is 37.9, and the most common race/ethnicity for Dental assistants is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

19.5k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 3,426
310k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 13,661

94.1% of Dental assistants are Female, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex 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. Other (Hispanic)

56.9% of Dental assistants are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 18.2% 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 Sex

35.2
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 2.26
37.9
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.581

The median age of Dental assistants is 37.7, and Male employees are generally 2.7 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 Health.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree 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 Selection, Negotiation, and Management of Material Resources.

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Projections

Projections on job growth for Dental Assistants from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10-year national workforce is projected to grow 3.71%, but Dental Assistants are expected to see a growth of 6.6% over the same period. This occupation is expected to grow more than the national average.

Job Growth

6.6%
Estimated Job Growth
10-year Projection
3.71%
National Growth
10-year Projection

This line chart shows the projected 10-year growth in the number of jobs for Dental Assistants. This profession is expected to grow more than than 3.71%, the average rate of national job growth.

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