Why earn certification through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB)?

This is a common question among dental assistants who are considering becoming DANB certified. Dental assistants pursue DANB certification for a variety of reasons. For starters, DANB certification can help you meet state requirements in some locations.

The results of DANB’s 2018-2019 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey point to some additional key factors that may motivate dental assistants to take that first step toward earning DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. Read on to learn more.

1. H
igher Salary

Perhaps the biggest benefit of holding DANB certification is having increased earning power. Specifically, DANB CDA certificants earn $2 more per hour than dental assistants who are not certified, the survey results show.

“Earning CDA certification is the best decision I’ve made in my career,” says Sally H., CDA. “Not only did I gain knowledge, but my pay scale is higher than an assistant who is not certified. Am I happy with DANB certification? Ecstatic is the word that comes to mind!”

DANB certificants also are more likely to receive raises: 68% of recently surveyed CDA certificants reported receiving a raise in their current position vs. 52% of non-certified assistants. This could be because employers realize the value that CDA certification brings.

Janice T., CDA, COA, CPFDA, CDPMA, says her employer gave her a raise after she became certified. “Earning DANB certification was important for me, and it was also important to the doctor I worked for,” Janice recalls.

More Personal and Professional Benefits

Dental assistants who hold DANB certification are valued by their employers — and this can translate into receiving additional professional benefits as well. For example, recently surveyed CDA certificants reported having workplace benefits such as paid vacation time (88%), paid holidays (84%), a retirement plan (70%), health insurance (59%) and paid sick leave (53%).

Additionally, survey results show CDA certificants enjoy more personal benefits, too. These include increased professional pride (71%), a commitment to self-improvement (63%), increased knowledge (62%), higher pay (61%), the ability to stand out in a job search (57%) and greater confidence (55%).

“DANB certification is valued by dentists and dental office staff because it is proof the individual is dedicated to our field,” says Tai D., CDA. “Certification shows you’re motivated and have the knowledge and skill sets to achieve — which is what employers are looking for.”

Better Poised for Career Growth

CDA certificants also say they’re better poised for career advancement — because career growth often starts with earning DANB certification.

In many states, DANB’s CDA certification is recognized or required to perform dental radiographic procedures or expanded functions. Dental assistants who hold CDA certification are more likely to climb the career ladder in their state and earn additional credentials. And for dental assistants who might move to a new state in the future, DANB certification can help them make the transition and stand out when looking for a new job.

“Becoming a CDA certificant has laid a great foundation and opened so many doors for me,” says Clyde B., CDA. “When I moved, my state recognized DANB’s CDA certification so I didn’t have to start over. Also, I am now on my way to earn an expanded functions state credential.”

Greater Job Satisfaction

Lastly, job satisfaction is high for all dental assistants, but those who hold DANB certification report even greater satisfaction levels. When asked, 82% of recently surveyed CDA certificants reported high or very high job satisfaction, while 75% of non-certified assistants reported high or very high job satisfaction.

“DANB CDA certificants do not just work a job; they experience a profession,” says Beth D., CDA.

Learn More

This post is part of a series highlighting DANB’s 2018-2019 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey. To learn more, read the other posts or visit the survey website.

Other posts in the series:

Also, learn more about the research: