As we celebrate National Dental Assistant Recognition Week (March 6-12), this might be a good time to consider becoming a dental assistant.
This patient-focused hands-on health care career is a good choice for someone who likes interacting with people and performing technical tasks.
You'll spend your days in a dentist's or orthodontist's office, working regular office hours (in other words, family friendly).
US News and World Report ranked dental assisting 17th on its list of the top 25 jobs in health care support.
At Concorde Career College, you can open a new door to a career opportunity in dental assisting.
It's a good job
Dentists everywhere recognize that having a good dental assistant is like having another pair of hands. The dental assistant is an integral part of everything that happens in a dental office and an important member of the team.
You have the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with patients, many of whom see the same dentist for years and there are aren't as many night or weekend shifts as is common in many other health care jobs.
If you're big on multitasking, clinical dental assisting is a great choice. Here are some of the skills and characteristics you'll need: interpersonal communication, self-motivation, conflict resolution, salesmanship and presentation skills.
Becoming a Dental Assistant
It takes less time than you think to become a dental assistant. In many states, dental assistants can even be trained on the job. Each state has its own regulations, however, so check with the state board of dentistry.
Some states require dental assistants to complete an accredited program and pass a licensing exam. Even in states that don't have such requirements, a formal educational program is often preferred by employers.
Concorde Career Colleges offers a dental assistant program. Actually, it offers two: an eight-month diploma program and a two-year associate degree. The diploma program focuses on the clinical skills you'll need, while an associate's degree offers a more rounded education and might offer more career opportunities. Compare the programs carefully before you make a decision.
The Job Outlook
Job opportunities for dental assistants are expected to be good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth of 18 percent through 2024, more than twice the rate projected for all occupations.
Aging baby boomers are more likely to retain their teeth compared to previous generations, and preventive dental care for all ages will increase the need for services.
Once you have some experience, you might want to go on to become a dental hygienist, move into a teaching role or management, or even become a dentist. If you think that's the direction you're headed, an associate's degree would be a good choice for your educational foundation.
Check out Concorde Career Colleges to see our programs in dental assisting. We have multiple campuses in different states and offer scholarships as well as financial aid. Take the first steps toward your new career as a dental assistant.