2013 Massachusetts dental assisting salary survey
(National averages or percentages are in the parentheses to allow for comparison)
- Most common hourly rates: $20, $24, $25 ($18)
- % who earn $30 or more an hour: 10% (6%)
- % who last received a raise more than a year ago: 60% (56%)
- % who believe raises occur at fair intervals: 49% (41%)
- % who would recommend dental assisting as a profession: 85% (73%)
- % who envision continued employment as a dental assistant three years from now: 76% (71%)
Selected comments from Massachusetts:
- Starting pay isn't usually very good. You have to be there a long time to get your salary up.
- Every dental assistant should not settle for less that they are worth, not less than $18 per hour.
- All dental assistants should become certified, no more of this on-job training, which keeps the salaries and status down. What happened in Oklahoma should be a wake-up call.
- I think we should be paid more since dentists cannot work and produce income for the practice without an assistant by their side. In my office, we have to cancel patients, therefore losing production if the doctor or the assistant is out sick. It always amazes me that assistants are the lowest paid employees in the practice, but production comes to a halt without us.
- I work in public health, and the money is terrible. Private practice has better wages. If you want to work with a community health program, they are not sustainable wages. Very disappointing.
- I think you make better money when you work in a specialty and when you work outside a big city.
- Unfortunately, we are at the bottom of the "totem pole" in the dental office as far as being valued; however, we are also the heartbeat of the office, which is so unfair.
- There are no regulations in Massachusetts other than X-ray certification. The state created a registry in 2009 but has not implemented it yet. Just another way to make money. Certification at this point doesn't always mean more money.
- I feel that DANB does not support the dental assting profession as a whole by not giving us credit: CEUs for attending large dental meetings such as Yankee Dental. We are also required to pay more per year for our certification, and we need more CEUs per year than the overpaid/entitled hygienist in our state. I have voiced my opinion to them and have received no response. Many of us need to pay for our own CEUs as well as take vacation time or unpaid time to attend such meetings to enrich our career. It is very sad that our fees each year continue to rise with no consideration of the economy. The hygienists in our office cannot believe the fees we pay each year along with needing more CEUs than they do. As far as I know, there are many dentists who sit on the DANB who make up the criteria we need to abide by, and they have no regard for all we go through to stay certified. i would not recommend anyone to become a CDA, although, after so many years in the business, I am not going anywhere. I have bills to pay. Support and appreciate the wonderful dental assistants you have, and give us credit for all we do to enrich and keep up with the ever changing field of dentistry.