Best and worst states to be a dental assistant -- 2011

July 20, 2011
How does your state rank in terms of being a great (or not-so-great place to be a dental assistant.
By Kevin Henry, editorMinnesota and New Hampshire, move over. It's time for Iowa to be in the spotlight.After finishing in the top 10 each of the last three years, Iowa finished this year as the "best state to be a dental assistant" in Dental Assisting Digest™’s annual survey. New Hampshire, last year's "best state" finished third while Minnesota, which earned the title in 2008 and 2009, finished sixth.Using a more concise system than in previous years, there were some shake-ups in the rankings, particularly near the bottom where the survey's "worst states" resign. Mississippi, last year's "worst state" finished 48th this year while Nevada plunged from #41 all the way to #50.To see our rankings from 1 to 50, please CLICK HERE.The six factors used to judge the states this year were …
  1. Average annual salary for dental assistants
  2. Cost of doing business in the state
  3. Quality of life
  4. Economy
  5. Education
  6. Cost of living

    Why did we choose each of these factors?

    Dental assistants always are looking for higher salaries, so it was the first factor on our list.

    Cost of doing business in the state included individual income and property taxes, as well as business taxes, particularly as they apply to new investments. It's a good barometer for new businesses moving into a state, as well as how individuals cope with taxes.

    Quality of life included local attractions, the crime rate, health care, as well as air and water quality.

    Economy included how well the state was doing in terms or luring new business as well as unemployment figures.

    Education included test scores, class size and spending. We also considered the number of higher education institutions in each state.

    The cost of living is simple ... wages go further when the cost of living is low.
    * Note: Some criteria rankings attributed from CNBC.

This year, we also went a step further. We wanted to know the best counties for dental assistants in each state. Using the criteria listed along with each county, you'll see what we feel are the best counties in each state, no matter where they ranked in our scoring system.

Click here to see the best counties to be a dental assistant in each of the 50 states, listed in the order the states finished in our 2011 survey. You may be surprised by some of the counties our criteria chose...