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Becoming a Dental Assistant in San Diego, California

If you want your work life to feel like vacation life, San Diego is the right place to become a dental assistant. Known for stretches of beach such as the Pacific Beach and La Jolla, this coastal city offers plenty of opportunities for gainful dental assistant employment and a fun personal life too.

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Dental assistants are an essential part of the dental health team, offering a variety of skills to help streamline the dental office experience. From casting impressions of patients’ teeth to billing insurance companies, the wide range of expertise dental assistants offer is invaluable to dental offices.

San Diego Schools for Dental Assistants

Programs approved by the Dental Board of California enable graduates to earn their Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) or Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credentials.

  • Howard Healthcare Academy. Approved by the Dental Board of California,this school offers a 10-month dental assistant program complete with an externship for hands-on experience. The school also offers to help graduates find job placement and continue with further certification.
  • San Diego Mesa College. Both a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate of Science Degree can be earned by dental assistants at this accredited school. Upon graduation, students will have the skills needed to pass CDA and RDA exams, and work competently in a dental office.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The dental assistant career field is booming in San Diego, with 4,070 locally employed dental assistants reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017. Dental assistants in San Diego also earned a mean income of $18.76 per hour, which was higher than average for U.S. dental assistants. There is no doubt that this field will grow in San Diego, as California’s employment of these professionals is expected to increase by 16.5 percent by 2026. You can view more statewide statistics on dental assistants here.

Working as a Dental Assistant in San Diego

With a vast selection of training programs spanning the city, residents from Coronado Bay to Escondido to Chula Vista, can easily enter the field of dental assisting in San Diego. Besides offering strong income and high employment rates for dental assistants, the city offers a multitude of attractions, with Sea World and the San Diego Zoo close at hand. Dental assistants living in San Diego are lucky to have such great career opportunities combined with excellent surroundings.

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