Becoming a Dental Assistant in Riverside, California
Dental assistants in the City of Riverside live in a picturesque location surrounded by the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Riverside is the 59th largest city in the country and the 12th largest city in California. Located about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Riverside has a diverse population and is known as the birthplace of the California citrus industry. Local attractions include the Mission Inn Museum, the largest mission revival-style building in the country, and the California Citrus State Historic Park.
Dental Assistant Schools in Riverside
While dental assistants in California may train on the job, to become a registered dental assistant (RDA) you will have to pass the certification exams. Many dental assistants find that completing a technical training course greatly assists them in developing their skills and helps prepare them for the examination.
- Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE). This not-for-profit school is run by the county and has several locations across the region. Their dental assistant program is accredited and offers financial assistance to local residents. The 34-week program is aimed at getting you ready to sit for your RDA certification examinations. Upon completion of the program, you will have obtained the necessary certificates needed to sit for the RDA exam. The full-time course is offered at the main campus in Indio and at their satellite location on East Alessandro Blvd. in Riverside.
- Intercoast College. With a convenient location just east of downtown Riverside on Atlanta Avenue, this 30-week program will give you the skills to start as an entry-level dental assistant. The course offers a mixture of lectures and practical exercises that culminate in a 160-hour externship. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for their RDA certification, and job-placement help is also offered by the college.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there were 4,830 dental assistant in the City of Riverside in 2017, and the field is expected to grow another 16.5 percent by 2026.
Dental assistants in Riverside typically start at an average $16.61 per hour and bring home $34,550 annually. This is higher than in Riverside County as a whole, which had an average per capita income of $25,500 from 2013 to 2017.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Riverside
Dental assistants in Riverside enjoy the natural beauty and temperate climate California is famous for, and get the benefits from its unique location. An easy drive from the desert, mountains and coastal cities, Riverside is also one of the most rapidly growing regions of the country. In 2017, Riverside County was ranked third in the country in terms of population growth. Dental assistants and other healthcare workers should see a high demand for their services for many years to come.