Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 02 Certification 1

Why should you get your dental assisting certification?

Feb. 23, 2017
There are many reasons to pursue certification in your dental assisting career. At the top of the list is the fact that it will advance the profession as a whole. It also increases an assistant's chances of receiving higher pay.

The headline presents a valid question. There are many reasons to pursue certification in your dental assisting career. At the top of the list is the fact that it will advance the profession as a whole. It also increases your chances of receiving higher pay.

In order to become the best dental assistant you can be, attaining your dental assisting certification through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) should be one of your top priorities. Why, you may ask? The number of benefits DANB certification will offer in helping you progress in your career cannot be underestimated. With such a competitive job market, it is vitally important to set yourself apart from the competition by earning DANB certification. More often, dental practices are looking for dental assistants who hold this certification for the dental assisting jobs they must fill.

Regardless of the industry, I’ve always believed that you can never have enough education under your belt. That includes certifications, trainings, seminars, and lectures. Furthering your education should be an ongoing goal, no matter how formal it may be.

When was the last time you heard that you were too qualified for a job? Believe it or not, this is said often. But I tell employers that they need to leave this decision to the job seeker because they don’t understand what a job seeker is trying to accomplish or what their plans may be. It is worth engaging every potential candidate, even if they seem “overqualified” on paper. What’s the other choice? Not being qualified enough.

Here are just a few reasons why certification and furthering your education should be a top priority for everyone, especially assistants.

Because the majority of employers now want to hire dental assistants with DANB certification, it may leave you at a big disadvantage if you don’t have one. Some dental practices might require applicants to hold certification, otherwise they will not be considered. To employers, certification shows that the dental assistants applying for the job are able to meet the rigorous standards of the dental assisting profession, and they have the knowledge to progress and be successful in the practice. In fact, most states recognize or require DANB exams or certifications. You can look up the requirements in your state here.

Recent statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that among people who are employed, those who are full-time in any profession are more likely to hold a certificate or license than part-time staff.

Earnings and benefits
On average, DANB certificants earn about $2 more per hour than dental assistants who do not hold certification. This shows how valued a certified dental assistant is to a dental practice. You can review various salary projections or use the dental salary calculator on to see the median salary in your region or zip code. You can also check out DANB's Salary Survey.

Advancing the profession
The benefits of holding a dental assisting certification are numerous for each person. But there are also benefits for the industry at large. Experts believe that the more certified assistants there are, the more the profession will be elevated in terms of prestige and earnings. It is very common for dental assistants not to feel as valued as other dental team members, and this attitude sometimes extends to patients and they may not treat the assistant as well as the rest of the staff.

Consider certification
Are you now considering certification? If you haven’t earned DANB certification yet, there are numerous resources online. Why not scout out your dream job through a dental jobs search to see the difference in wages between a certified assistant and an uncertified dental assistant?

DANB currently provides five national certifications. This allows assistant to earn a certificate that meets their personal needs and goals. If you are qualified and certified but are still having a hard time landing a good job, try working with a dental recruiter or dental recruiting firm. They typically know of positions that are available. Good luck!

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Peter Cargill is an entrepreneurial, executive leader, and founder of DentReps, The Dental Jobs Site, and DR Recruiting, Dentistry’s Recruiting Solution. Peter has spent the past decade primarily in the dental industry, both domestically and internationally. He has a MBA from Boston College and Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Business from Stonehill College, as a well as an Executive Certificate from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business. Peter is a volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital and is certified to work with Children of Foster Care and Adoption.Email [email protected] or call (781) 987-1365.