As you might expect, most dental assistants are interested in learning about how they can increase their salaries. Dental assistants’ salaries are based on many factors, including education, experience, credentials, location, practice type and more.


However, there are a few things dental assistants can do to increase their earnings, no matter where they work.


Earn Credentials

It makes sense that if you can do more around the office, you are likely to be paid more. Climbing the career ladder in your state is a good approach to increasing your earnings. Each state has its own requirements for dental assistants. Learn more about the credentials available in your state by visiting the Search-by-State map on the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) website.


Earning DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification is another way to increase your hourly wages. DANB’s 2016 dental assisting salary survey shows that dental assistants who hold CDA certification earn over $2 more per hour than dental assistants who are not certified. What’s more, holding CDA certification is often one of the steps to earning a state credential. So, by earning DANB certification you may already be on your way to meeting state requirements!

Find the Right Office

If you’re looking for a new dental assisting job, consider asking about the practice’s approach to raises, bonuses, and how they demonstrate overall staff appreciation. Dental assistants who report being satisfied with their salaries also say that their employer values them. It’s no wonder that these two elements go hand-in-hand. If your employer understands the benefits you bring to the dental practice, it is more likely that you will be compensated fairly. Additionally, some dental offices offer programs that establish ways bonuses can be earned, so that team members get rewarded if the practice meets its goals.


Ask for a Raise

DANB’s salary survey revealed that most dental assistants who asked for a raise had their request approved. In fact, less than 10% of dental assistants said their raise request was denied. That’s a good reason to go ahead and prepare your case for why you believe you deserve a salary increase and bring this information to your employer. Chances are good that your request will be considered! Learn more about how to ask for a raise.


Stick with It

Experience plays a big role in dental assistant wages. DANB’s salary survey showed that CDA certificants with less than five years of experience earned $16.75 per hour, compared to those with more than 30 years of experience earning $24 per hour. If you’re new to the profession, be patient. It can take time to build up your knowledge and work your way up the career ladder. And in addition to increased experience, employee loyalty to a dental practice is often rewarded.


What have you done to increase your dental assisting income?