Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 09 Raise Is The Dental Office 1

5 steps in getting that raise in your dental position!

Sept. 21, 2016
It's seldom easy to ask for that raise in your dental position.. But know you're worth, come prepared, and time it right, and chances are pretty good you'll get that much-deserved raise.
Has it been over a year since your last pay increase? If so, you might be due for a raise. Many dental offices may perform annual evaluations for each employee and decide if a raise is warranted. However, some offices aren’t so disciplined in looking out for their employees. If your office isn't so disciplined, it's up to you to get what you deserve. Just follow these five steps to help you land that raise!

Timing—Timing is everything. It might be tough to decide when it’s the right time to approach your boss or office manager about a raise, but timing truly makes a difference. Before asking for a raise, make sure you haven’t been out sick or on vacation during the last month. You want to be viewed as a dependable and loyal employee, not a recent absentee employee.

Also, make sure the office is producing and not struggling financially. Have there been more no shows, cancellations, or open blocks in the schedule lately? If so, wait. Don’t request a raise at this time because chances are good you'll be turned down. If production is up and the office is busy, proceed to the next step.

Be prepared—Come armed with information about why you deserve a raise. It can be hard to start the conversation, so you can begin by saying, “I was hoping that we could talk about my salary. It has been a year since my last raise, and in that time I've taken on quite a few new responsibilities. I’m solely responsible for ordering supplies, I'm the OSHA dental office trainer and the new patient coordinator, and I manage to make all the follow-up calls to patients who have had restorative treatment done.” By having a list of your duties, skills, accomplishments, and certifications that you've earned in the past year, you can quickly look back on those during your conversation. Be confident and take this time to brag about yourself!

Check your salary—One of the easiest reasons to ask for a raise is that you're currently being underpaid. Ask your friends that work at other dental offices what they're making. Check out the recent dental classified ads to see what the pay scale, benefits, or bonus structures are at other offices. Knowing the typical salaries in your field and what others in similar jobs in your city currently earn will help your case. Take into account how many years you've been in your field and how long you've been with your office to determine where you fall in the range. Another way to find out about local salaries is to become a member of your local dental association and network with your peers.

Stay positive and professional—Remember, before you can convince your boss that you deserve a raise, you need to believe that you’ve earned one, not just that you want one. Discuss why you deserve a raise, and don’t bring up personal things such as your rent or childcare costs. Justify your raise on your successes, not your financial struggles. While discussing a possible raise with your boss, let him or her know you will continue to work hard on patient care, office production, and helping the office run smoother. You want to convey that even after the raise your motivation and hard work won’t stop, and you'll continue to give 110%.

Be respected and liked—Make sure your dental patients appreciate and like you. Employers notice when their patients request a certain worker or seek someone out to say hello when they're at the office. This is another great reminder of how important you are to the practice. It goes along with being liked and respected by your coworkers. Be helpful and offer your assistance to others when you can. Help out the front office or the hygienists with their operatories and instruments when you have free time. When others see how much you help and don't sit around, then you're more justified in getting that raise.

Requesting a raise can be stressful, but know your value and worth. Present your case and toot your own horn! Do not assume your boss is going to remember all of the successes that you've had in the past year. If you are an asset to the office, then you should be rewarded in pay. Good luck!

Kimberly Morgan, RDH, has over 24 years of experience in the dental field. She is the founder of to help connect dental professionals with jobs and employees. She co-owns and teaches at the Dental Essentials School of Dental Assisting in Austin, Texas since 2003. She is a practicing dental hygienist at a private practice in Austin. She is the current vice president for the Austin Dental Hygiene Society. She can be reached at [email protected] or find her on LinkedIn.