How to Become a Dental Assistant in Tucson, Arizona
Located about a 100 miles south of Phoenix, Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona. With sunny, warm weather and a beautiful desert landscape, it’s a desirable place to live. There are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities here, as well as art, food and culture, and it’s a great place to start a career as a dental assistant. Arizona has requirements for working in this field, which you can find here. As a dental assistant in Tucson you’ll work alongside dentists providing help during procedures and exams, working with patients and doing clerical tasks.
Dental Assistant Schools in Tucson
There are a few options in and around Tucson for dental assistant training. Here are a couple of the schools that can prepare you for this career:
- Pima County Community College. Pima offers a certificate program in dental assisting that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. With this certificate you will be prepared to take certification exams and start working, but it can also be applied to a dental hygienist associate’s degree. The program is at the West Campus, which is near the Santa Cruz River, Sentinel Peak Park, a great spot for hiking in the city, and Tucson’s downtown.
- Pima Medical Institute. The Tucson campus of the Pima Medical Institute is in a quiet neighborhood. Nearby areas of interest include the Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Zoo and the campus of the University of Arizona. The dental assisting program includes 28 credit hours and an externship for hands-on work experience.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Throughout Arizona growth in dental assisting is strong. The rate of new job growth is expected to be 32.2 percent from 2016 to 2026, with thousands of open positions becoming available for qualified candidates. There are currently about 900 dental assistants working in Tucson, a number expected to increase. The average salary for these professionals in the city is $17.95 per hour and $37,330 annually.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Tucson
Tucson and its surrounding suburbs is a city of nearly one million people. It’s a great place to become a dental assistant because of job opportunities opening up all the time. There are many dental offices that will need qualified assistants in the coming years, from those located right in the city to offices on the outskirts. With the right education and certification you will be ready to tackle any of these jobs.