Becoming a Dental Assistant in Oakland, California
Located on the east side of the bay, Oakland and San Francisco together form the metropolis known as the Bay Area. Oakland is a picturesque and diverse city and is less hectic than San Francisco. It features cultural spots like the African American Museum and a vintage theme park called Children’s Fairyland. You can lose yourself wandering through restored Victorian neighborhoods and boutiques.
Oakland is also located near the ocean, where you can enjoy a range of activities such as scuba diving, sailing and surfing. Or you can head inland and enjoy the snow sports at Lake Tahoe or Mount Shasta. Dental assistants (DAs) in Oakland have a lot of options for their leisure time.
Dental Assistant Schools in Oakland
In California, you can train on the job as a dental assistant, but to become a registered dental assistant (RDA) you will have to sit for the state licensing exam. To help you prepare for the exam, consider these dental assisting programs in Oakland:
- Golden Gate School of Dental Assisting (GGSDA), San Francisco. The oldest program of its kind in the state, GGSDA is located right across the bridge in downtown San Francisco. Easy to reach by car or public transportation, this 10-week program only meets on Sundays. If you are trying to maintain employment as you study, this program could be a good option. Upon completion of the program you will be ready to work as an entry-level dental assistant. GGSDA also offers job referral services to their graduates.
- City College of San Francisco (CCSF), San Francisco. CCSF offers both a certification and a degree program in dental assisting. Both programs prepare you to work as an entry-level DA. The longer two-year program also awards an Associates of Science degree, whereas the one-year program just grants you a Certificate of Achievement. CCSF is centrally located in downtown San Francisco and is easy to reach by car and public transportation.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
There were over 6,700 dental assistants in the Oakland area in 2017, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They earn an average of $22.42 an hour or $46,620 annually. The field of dental assisting is expected to grow by 16.5 percent in California from 2017 to 2026, so this is a career with a lot of potential.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Oakland
Oakland is a lovely place to live and work, and dental assistants in the Bay Area have a lot of options for employment. In addition to dental clinics, dental assistants in Oakland may work in local dental schools, surgery centers and even colleges and universities. If you enjoy moderate weather and want access to both outdoor activities and cultural events then you might consider being a dental assistant in Oakland.