2013 Michigan dental assisting salary survey
(National averages or percentages are in the parentheses to allow for comparison)
- Most common hourly rates: $14, $17, $18, $19 ($18)
- % who earn $30 or more an hour: 2% (6%)
- % who last received a raise more than a year ago: 52% (56%)
- % who believe raises occur at fair intervals: 47% (41%)
- % who would recommend dental assisting as a profession: 81% (73%)
- % who envision continued employment as a dental assistant three years from now: 81% (71%)
Selected comments from Michigan:
- Believe in your own worth; make yourself more valuable to the doctor by allowing him to be more productive.
- It is interesting that when the production goes down the staff's hours or lack of raises, lunches, events, etc., stop or get cut back. The doctor never is put out or takes a cut in pay.
- I appreciate the hourly wage I earn; however, there is a tight limit on the number of hours I am allowed to work. I think dental assistants should have more opportunities to be salary with benefits. So tired of the hourly gig. It would be nice to be compensated based on actual production.
- I do not make as much money as I thought I would make. I have not had a raise in four years.
- I am an RDA in my state, and most of the dentists don't understand the level of professionalism that comes with having knowledgeable staff members.
- The demands for proof of training will increase, but there are not enough training locations, teachers, and schools to fill this demand
- I am concerned that we are not educating assistants to truly fulfill the roles they should be doing in dentistry. Assistants have, by far, the most contact with patients, and most lack the skills to discuss/educate relevant dental issues with patients. This skill should be part of the curriculum in any dental assisting program. It is just as or even more important than practical hands-on training while the students are in any assisting program. Assistants in general have a lot to overcome due to too many years of on-the-job-training assistants that have been seen as "spit-suckers." The profession needs strong, vocal leaders in order to gain professional respect. Only good training for students can achieve this initiative.
- It s becoming more intensely competitive. The future is definitely more digital and technology driven. One cannot sit/stand by and let opportunities for advancement slip by. Learn all that you can, be a valuable asset for your doctor.
- The public is becoming more aware of the importance of an educated assistant. Their role may become more regulated nation wide and expand the need for expanded functions assistants to serve the general public and also the under-served.
- If licensing is not mandated, our profession will never grow or expand due to dentists hiring low skill level employees, instead of qualified licensed assistants.
- I have been a dental assistant for 25 years and have earned my CDA and radiology certificate. I respect the doctor I work for, but as a small town dental office and the economy the way it is, it’s hard to see a raise every year. If someone is looking to make a lot of money in dental assting they are looking in the wrong field. You do this job because you care about people.