Dental assistant certification. You’ve heard it preached. You’ve been told the benefits. You may have even considered studying for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification exam, but for a variety of reasons it just hasn’t worked out.
Still needing some motivation to earn CDA certification? The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) has done its homework, and the organization offers plenty of concrete reasons why receiving your certification is a good idea.
Respect around the dental office. More knowledge in the dental field. Confidence. Continuing education opportunities. Networking with peers.
And how about an increase in your paycheck?
DANB's 2012 Salary Survey: CDAs still earn more than non-CDAs
DANB’s most recent salary survey confirms that DANB CDAs earn about $2 more per hour than non-certified dental assistants. DANB-certified assistants earn an average of $18.60 per hour compared to $16.59 for non-DANB certified assistants.
There is also something to be said for job longevity. DANB CDAs have been working in the field for an average of 15 years, and they have held their current positions for an average of eight years.
“Earning and maintaining DANB certification can have a positive impact on a dental assistant’s earnings,” said DANB Executive Director Cindy Durley. “DANB certification is often recognized as one of the requirements to perform expanded duties, so DANB CDAs may be able to take on more tasks around the office, which can lead to higher wages.”
Durley noted that dental assistants’ salary can vary depending on where they work. “For example, dental assistants who work in a metropolitan area or specialty practice may earn a higher hourly wage.”
It also varies depending on what type of office an assistant works in. Dental assistants who work in a prosthodontics practice report the highest hourly wage ($20.84), followed by periodontic ($19.01), general dentistry and multi-specialty ($18.75), and orthodontic ($18.48).
“We know that DANB CDAs earn more per hour than non-certified dental assistants, but how much more may be related to the U.S. economy,” Durley said. “For example, when the economy was down, such as in 2002 and 2008, DANB CDAs’ salaries were significantly higher than those of non-certified dental assistants. We can only speculate as to why this might be. But we can say it may be especially beneficial in a tough economy to hold DANB CDA certification.”
For additional information, see the full results from DANB’s 2012 Salary Survey.