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DANB’s salary and job satisfaction survey results are now available

July 16, 2019
Dental assistants who hold DANB’s CDA certification report numerous personal and professional benefits.

The results of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) 2018–2019 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey are now available. Once again, dental assistants who hold DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA®) certification report numerous personal and professional benefits.

Higher earnings and more raises

According to the survey results, dental assistants who hold DANB’s CDA certification reported earning $2 more per hour compared to all dental assistants, most of whom are not DANB-certified. Nationally, dental assistants who hold CDA certification earned a median hourly wage of $20.76 compared to the national rate for dental assistants (DANB certified or not) of $18.59* per hour.

 Additionally, the survey shows that CDA certification is tied to income growth—as 68% of CDA certificants reported receiving a raise in their current position, compared to the 52% of non-certified assistants who received a raise.

 “Holding CDA certification is a blessing, because you can better negotiate your salary,” Tina A., CDA, has experienced.

 Greater job satisfaction

CDA certificants also reported high or very high job satisfaction (82%), compared with those who are not certified (75%). Additionally, CDA certificants were more likely to agree or strongly agree that dental assisting is a career, not just a job. This sentiment was reported by 88% of CDA certificants vs. 83% of non-certified assistants. 

Higher satisfaction is also seen in the relationship with their employer. When asked if dental assistants feel valued by their employer, 60% of those who hold CDA certification agreed or strongly agreed, compared to 58% of non-certified assistants. 

“DANB CDA certificants do not just work a job; they experience a profession,” says Beth D., CDA. 

More personal and professional benefits

Along with increased pay and higher job satisfaction, the survey revealed numerous personal benefits to holding CDA certification, including pride, self-improvement, increased knowledge, higher pay, standing out when applying for jobs, and greater confidence. 

CDA certificants also reported receiving workplace benefits, such as paid vacation time (88%), paid holidays (84%), and a retirement plan (70%). 

All these factors could be why CDA certificants are committed to the profession and believe in the value of certification. In fact, 99% of those surveyed said they plan to renew their DANB certification, and 93% said they would encourage others to earn certification. 

“DANB certification gives you a higher level of personal and career satisfaction and a higher level of professionalism,” says Natalie K., CDA, COA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDPMA, COMSA. 

Sharon D., CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDPMA, agrees. “I tell every dental assistant they should become DANB certified.” 

To learn more about the survey results, and how DANB certification can benefit you, visit danbcertified.org

*Figure from the 2018 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.