Dental Assistant

Career Overview

Dental assistants perform many tasks in a dentist's office including preparing patients for treatments, cleaning instruments, assisting dentists during treatments, record keeping, and the scheduling of appointments. Their duties may vary by geographical location and by the offices in which they work.


Completing a one to two-year certificate or college degree program in dental assisting is necessary in certain geographical locations to obtain these positions. Requirements may vary by location. In areas where there are no educational requirements, the job is learned through on-the-job training.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$25,000 /yr
$40,000 /yr
$56,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Psychology
  • Math - as much as possible!
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including chemistry and biology!
Work Environment

Dental assistants work for and are supervised by dentists. Most work full time, but about 1/3 do work part-time.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position in the US looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist. There may be more competition for positions in Canada.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada