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Dental Assistants

Assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.   (O'Net 31-9091.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Aide, Dental Assistant (DA), Dental Nurse, Dental Office Manager   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
  • Related Occupations
  •  


    Career Video
    for Dental Assistants
     
    Dental Assistants photo Dental Assistants photo Dental Assistants photo
    Career Video:   View video on Dental Assistants
     


    Wages
    for Dental Assistants
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2015
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 14.76   $ 16.32   $ 18.63   $ 22.86   $ 27.26   $ 19.54  
    Yearly $30,690   $33,950   $38,740   $47,540   $56,700   $40,640  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 15.26   $ 16.48   $ 18.53   $ 22.07   $ 25.90   $ 19.15  
    Yearly $31,730   $34,290   $38,540   $45,900   $53,880   $39,830  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 14.53   $ 16.16   $ 18.41   $ 22.19   $ 26.37   $ 19.22  
    Yearly $30,230   $33,610   $38,290   $46,160   $54,840   $39,980  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 13.93   $ 16.13   $ 20.30   $ 26.57   $ 29.00   $ 21.01  
    Yearly $28,970   $33,560   $42,220   $55,270   $60,310   $43,700  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2016.
    Note: 2015 release includes new geographic definitions based on 2010 Census.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Dental Assistants
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2012 2022
    Vermont 521 581 1.1% 17
    Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA 188 210 1.1% 6
    Southern Vermont Balance of State 223 248 1.1% 7
    Northern Vermont Balance of State 110 122 1.0% 3
    Note: Substate areas are based on 2005 definitions from 2000 Census. 2014-2024 estimates, released in 2016, will be based on new area definitions from 2010 Census.
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released August 2014, area estimates released October 2014.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Dental Assistants
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    Industry Vermont
    2012
    Employment
    Percent
    of Total
    Services Providing 521 100%
    Total All Industries 521 100%
    Ambulatory Health Care Services 519 100%
    Health Care and Social Assistance 519 100%
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released August 2014.
     


    Tasks
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Prepare patient, sterilize or disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, or assist dentist during dental procedures.
     
  • Record treatment information in patient records.
     
  • Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.
     
  • Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.
     
  • Assist dentist in management of medical or dental emergencies.
     
  • Provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentist.
     
  • Instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs.
     
  • Order and monitor dental supplies and equipment inventory.
     
  • Fabricate temporary restorations or custom impressions from preliminary impressions.
     
  • Make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Knowledge
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
     
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
     
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Skills
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Abilities
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Work Activities
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
     
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
     
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Interests
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
     
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Dental Assistants
    Back to Top
     
    License Name Licensing Agency
    Dental Assistant, Certified Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Dental Examiners
    Dental Assistant, Traditional Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Dental Examiners
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Dental Assistants
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  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  •  
  • Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants  updated July 2013
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Dental Assistants
    Back to Top
     
      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Dental Assisting/Assistant.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Dental Assistants
    Back to Top
     
  • Health Care Careers
  • A resource of the University of Vermont, the Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC) has four regional centers where you can learn about careers in healthcare and the college programs, finanical aide and other resoures needed to pursue that career.
     
  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Dental Assistants.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Dental Assistants :
  • Dental Assistants
  •  
  • O*NET™ Online
  • O*NET Online is an interactive web site for those interested in exploring occupations through O*NET, The Occupational Information Network database.   All of the descriptive information on this page comes from the O*NET database, version 18.1, released March 2014.   The O*NET database takes the place of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) as the nation's primary source of occupational information.
  • For additional information on Dental Assistants , go to O*NET Online Detail Report.
  • For the O*NET Online home page, go to   
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Dental Assistants
    Back to Top
     
     
  • Dental Hygienists
  •  
  • Endoscopy Technicians
  •  
  • Neurodiagnostic Technologists
  •  
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  •  
  • Radiologic Technicians
  •  
  • Radiologic Technologists
  •  
  • Surgical Technologists
  •  
  • Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Assistants 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor