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How to Become a Dental Assistant in Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is the most populous city in Alaska, with almost half of the state’s population residing there. Because of its location, the Anchorage International Airport is a major refueling station for many international cargo flights. It is also a major global FedEx center. The most significant economic quarters of the state are corporate, military, municipal, state and federal government, tourism and transportation. There are also other job opportunities available in the state, including dental assisting.

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Dental assistants are healthcare professionals who help dentists and dental hygienists in preparing patients for treatment and performing procedures on patients. They also sterilize equipment and prepare treatment rooms, as well as hold administrative duties. This profession is regulated on a state level, and each state has different requirements. Check out the Alaska dental assistant requirements here.

Dental Assistant Schools in Anchorage

Before you can seek work as a dental assistant, you will most likely need to complete a post-secondary dental assistant training program. Accredited programs are recommended. There is one main dental assisting training program available in Anchorage.

  • University of Alaska Anchorage. The University of Alaska Anchorage offers an undergraduate certificate in dental assisting. This program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the 34 credit hours required for this program can be completed in one year. The campus features a fully-equipped dental clinic, sterilization room, materials lab and a radiography viewing room. Students will also complete 75 hours in the UAA Dental Clinic and participate in two service projects. UAA is located less than five miles from the following Anchorage attractions: Imaginarium Discovery Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Wells Fargo Museum, Lake Eklutna, Alaska Mushing School and Chugach National Forest.

Anchorage Job and Salary Outlook

The job profession for dental assistants is expected to see a significant increase nationally over the next few years. In Alaska, the field is expected to increase by 24 percent, with approximately 280 more jobs added between 2016 and 2026.

In Anchorage, dental assistants earn an average $22.23 an hour, or $46,240 yearly. Certified dental assistants in the area who have more experience can make up to $61,590 annually.

Working as a Dental Assistant in Anchorage

Since it is the most populated city in Alaska, as well as the economic center of the state, Anchorage is a great place to live and work. A couple of places you may find work as a dental assistant in Anchorage are Anchorage Dental Group and Fresh Dental Care. If you’re not too tired from attending dental school or have weekends off, there is plenty to do in Anchorage as well. You can fish at Denali National Park, attend the annual dog sled races in the winter, visit one of the many museums in the city or attend an event at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts.