4 fast facts about the US dental assistant workforce

Dental assistants are a vital part of the industry, providing patient care, taking X-rays, keeping records and scheduling appointments.

Below are five fast facts about the U.S. dental assistant workforce. Information was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents national data as of May 2020.

1. Dental assistants held about 330,200 jobs in 2020.

2. The median annual wage for dental assistants is $41,180.

3. There are several possible paths to become a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. Other states don't have formal educational requirements, and assistants learn through on-the-job training, which is becoming more common amid the current staff shortage.

4. Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 44,000 dental assistant openings are projected per year, on average, over the decade.

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