Whether you’re considering entering the dental assisting profession or climbing the dental assisting career ladder, you may be wondering: “How much can dental assistants earn?”

The truth is, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A dental assistant’s salary can vary, depending on many factors. These can include experience level and geographical location, among others. Generally, dental assistants in major metropolitan areas tend to earn more than dental assistants who live in smaller towns. And some states are known for paying higher wages than others.

DANB’s 2018-2019 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey asked dental assistants who hold DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification about their salary and satisfaction levels. Below, we share data on the top-paying states for DANB CDA certificants, as well as the top-paying states for all dental assistants as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).*

Top-Paying States for DANB CDA Certificants

  1. Delaware: $26.50
  2. Wyoming: $25.65
  3. Alaska, Massachusetts: $25.00
  4. Oklahoma: $24.13
  5. Minnesota: $23.73
  6. Maine: $23.50
  7. New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota: $23.00
  8. Maryland, Washington: $22.50
  9. Vermont: $22.47
  10. California, D.C., Nevada: $22.00

Top-Paying States for All Dental Assistants

  1. Minnesota: $23.66
  2. New Hampshire: $23.03
  3. District of Columbia: $22.42
  4. Alaska: $22.17
  5. Massachusetts: $22.00
  6. North Dakota: $21.31
  7. Connecticut: $21.19
  8. Vermont: $21.17
  9. Oregon: $21.15
  10. Rhode Island: $21.10

*Median hourly wage


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: