2013 South U.S. dental assisting salary survey

Sept. 23, 2013
2013 dental assisting salaries for southern U.S. states

2013 South U.S. dental assisting salary survey

(Statistics are for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina)

(National averages or percentages are in the parentheses to allow for comparison)

  • Most common hourly rates: $14, $16, $20 ($18)
  • % who earn $30 or more an hour: 0% (6%)
  • % who last received a raise more than a year ago: 42% (56%)
  • % who believe raises occur at fair intervals: 42% (41%)
  • % who would recommend dental assisting as a profession: 78% (73%)
  • % who envision continued employment as a dental assistant three years from now: 73% (71%)

Selected comments from South U.S.:


  • I think that if Arkansas required CDA the salary base would raise.
  • Unfortunately, with more new dentists deciding against private practice and going into commercialized group practices, I’m afraid assistants will have less pride and move away from the profession.


  • I work in a fee-for-service office, which enables me to make my hourly wage and receive many other benefits.
  • The future outlook looks dismal. So many dental assistants lack a college degree (such as business adminstration) or strong technical skills to justify their salary demands.
  • I think assistants should be licensed and able to perform more duties in Georgia


  • We are paid hourly, plus bonuses if production is above a certain amount. But this past year business has slowed, and we haven't received any bonuses at all this year.
  • You definitely make more if you have your letters behind your name.


  • As a dental assisting instructor, I see my students receiving improved opportunities and salaries and being appreciated more for the most part. I am happy about the future outlook of our profession!

South Carolina:

  • It is my experience that assistants work a lot harder and longer than hygienists, but hygienists get all the glory. Fortunately where I now work, the hygienists are team players and will do more than just clean teeth.
  • One of the biggest reasons for turnover in dental assistant positions is a dentist that screams or talks hatefully. It all stems from them not handling pressure. But it appears that a high turnover isn't alarming to them.

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