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Expanding your dental assisting career in the new year

Jan. 19, 2016
The new year provides an opportunity for dental assistants to identify and work toward their professional goals and expand their careers.
Whether your professional goals include taking on more duties in your office, pursuing continuing education, or earning Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) certification, the new year provides an opportunity to take the next steps toward expanding your career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assisting is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. As a professional in this rapidly growing field, you have a variety of options for professional growth. Consider the following ways you can begin 2016 with a strong start and make the most of what the dental assisting career path has to offer.

Evaluate your options
Each state has different requirements for dental assistants. If you’re looking to take on more duties or perform additional functions, you’ll need to determine your state’s education, exam and experience requirements. DANB’s website offers resources for dental assistants looking to review state-specific job requirements, including a Search-by-State map where you can review the job titles in each state, check the requirements at each level, and download charts with the allowable and prohibited duties.

Earn an advantage
Earning and maintaining DANB certification is one of the most important steps you can take in your career. DANB exams and certifications are recognized or required by 39 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to helping you meet state dental assisting requirements, according to DANB’s Salary Survey, DANB certificants earn nearly $2 more per hour than dental assistants who aren’t certified. DANB certificants also report increased knowledge, greater confidence and a professional advantage over others when applying for a job. To learn more about how to prepare for and earn DANB certification, visit the Become Certified section of DANB’s website to download an application packet, or see the Prepare for DANB Exams section.

Expand your knowledge
Whatever your professional goals are, continuing education (CE) is a critical component. If you’re looking for a convenient way to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule, the DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate, offers several interactive online courses on a variety of topics that can help you earn CE or prepare for DANB certification. To learn more, visit the DALE Foundation’s product catalog.

The new year is an exciting time to start working toward professional goals. Visit and to learn more about how DANB and the DALE Foundation can help you take the next steps toward successfully expanding your career.