Become a Dental Assistant in Florida

The nation’s fourth largest state offers fantastic opportunities for dental assistants in the coming years. [Seguir leyendo en español]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in the eight years to 2023, employment in dental assistant jobs in Florida will grow by as much as 16.5%. This means that there should be an average of 703 job openings per year. (You can also look for Dental Hygienist schools in Florida here)

Requirements

The state of Florida distinguishes between dental assistants that have been formally trained, and those that have learned their skills on the job.

On-the-job trained dental assistants acquire their skills in a dental office under the supervision of an appropriately licensed dentist. The dentist is responsible for ensuring that the dental assistant has adequate knowledge and skills to perform the basic assisting procedures as defined by the state’s dental practice act.

Article 466.024 of the Dental Practice Act defines a list of expanded functions for dental assistants. In order to practice any of these functions, a dental assistant must be formally trained, either by graduating from a CODA-approved dental assisting program or by completing an expanded duties training program that has been approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry.

If you have graduated from a Florida Board of Dentistry-approved dental assisting school or program, you may legally operate dental x-ray equipment and perform dental radiographic procedures in Florida. If you cannot meet this requirement, you can be certified by completing three months of continuous training in radiographs under the supervision of a Florida-licensed dentist and completing an approved radiology course.

Popular Programs

Dental Assistant Salaries by Area

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 Dental Assistants in the state of Florida earned an average of $37,420 annually or $17.99 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL620$17.81$37,050
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL180$17.47$36,350
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL490$17.15$35,670
Gainesville, FL270$18.07$37,580
Homosassa Springs, FL80$17.47$36,340
Jacksonville, FL1,260$17.46$36,330
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL280$17.70$36,820
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL5,850$18.09$37,630
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL210$19.45$40,450
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL890$19.76$41,090
Ocala, FL180$16.22$33,730
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL2,240$17.77$36,970
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL620$17.63$36,670
Panama City, FL180$15.75$32,760
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL390$18.25$37,960
Port St. Lucie, FL370$18.99$39,510
Punta Gorda, FL130$18.20$37,850
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL**$18.10$37,650
Sebring, FL70$15.84$32,940
Tallahassee, FL300$18.75$38,990
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL2,820$18.21$37,870
The Villages, FL100$17.19$35,750

Well-known Schools

There are 49 schools offering dental assistant programs in Florida, according to the US Department of Education. Of these 26 are public technical or community colleges and the rest are private. The average cost of studying to become a dental assistant at a public institution in Florida is around $8,200 for each year of study, based on US Department of Educations “Net Price” calculation for 2014-15. In private colleges the cost is likely to be over $21,000. For reviews of Florida colleges, you might want to check out sites such as CollegeTimes.co and SchoolsReview.com.

North Florida

Santa Fe College offers an ADA-accredited program in Gainesville. The college is located just off the I-75. Classroom hours are approximately 35 to 37 hours per week and may include evening hours, and additional home study is required. Clinical experiences take place at Santa Fe College (SF), the University of Florida College of Dentistry and private offices in Alachua and surrounding counties.

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a Dental Assisting Workforce Certificate (WC) program. The program is approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry and can prepare students in expanded functions and dental radiology.

Tallahassee Community College offers a Dental Assisting PSAV Certificate. (PSAV stands for “Post-Secondary Adult Vocational”). Admission requirements include having successfully completed biology and chemistry in high school or college and having a high school or college cumulative unrounded GPA of 2.0 or better.

Central Florida

Daytona State College at Daytona Beach offers a Vocational Certificate Program in Dental Assisting. This is a limited access program. Program requirements include completing courses (Grade “C” or better) Introduction to Dental Assisting and Managing Your Success prior to your application. You are also required to have completed eight observation hours in a dental clinic.

Orange Technical College-Orlando Campus, on the north side of Orlando, offers a ADA CODA-accredited program. On successful completion, students receive the Florida Expanded Functions Certificate. Orlando Technical College incorporates what used to be Orlando Technical Center as well as four other tech centers (Avalon, Mid Florida, Westside and Winter Park).

Hillsborough Community College – Dale Mabry Campus in Tampa offers a Dental Assisting PSAV Certificate program. The program takes one year and prepares students to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination to earn the Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) designation.

Not recognized by the US Department of Education, and therefore not eligible for Federal grants, is Dental Careers of Central Florida which offers a Dental Assisting program as well as Expanded Functions and X-Ray certification.

South Florida

Broward College

in Fort Lauderdale offers students two possibilities: an Applied Technical Diploma (ATD) or an Associate in Science Degree in Dental Assisting. The ATD program lasts 12 months and awards graduates the Florida’s Expanded Functions and Dental Radiographer certificates. The AAS program continues studies for a further year.

Lindsey Hopkins Technical College in Miami offers a Dental Assisting certificate program of approximately 13 months in duration. The program is ADA, CODA-accredited.

Not recognized by the US Department of Education, and therefore not eligible for Federal grants, is South Florida Dental Assisting School, with locations in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Hialeah, which offers a 12-week Dental Assisting program as well as Expanded Functions and Radiology certification.

Dental Assisting

Jacksonville, FL

Fortis College

560 Wells Road, Orange Park, Florida 32073
(904) 269-7086
http://www.fortis.edu/campuses/career-training/dental-assisting/560-wells-road-orange-park-fl.aspx

Fortis College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Orange Park in Clay County, FL. Most of the school’s 342 students are on 2-year programs. Fees at the school are about $13,493 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of Florida is $13,493.

Concorde Career Institute-Jacksonville

7259 Salisbury Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32256-6905
(904) 725-0525
http://www.concorde.edu/program/dental-assistant-assisting

Concorde Career Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Jacksonville, FL. The majority of the school’s 548 students are on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $14,565 and material costs of $1,764. On average the program takes 8 months to complete.

Everest University-Jacksonville

8226 Phillips Hwy, Jacksonville, Florida 32256-1240
(904) 731-4949
http://www.everest.edu/campus/jacksonville/program/dental-assistant

Everest University’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Jacksonville, FL. Of the 721 students, about 9% are postgraduates. Fees at this school are around $14,796 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Florida are $14,796.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

501 W State St, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 359-5433
http://catalog.fscj.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=32&poid=5241

The Certificate program at Florida State College at Jacksonville is offered at their campus in the city of Jacksonville. The college has around 30,053 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $2,830 per year. The fees for students from outside Florida are $9,944.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

Traviss Career Center

3225 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, Florida 33803
(863) 499-2700
http://www.traviss.edu/available-programs/

Traviss Career Center’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Lakeland in Polk County, FL. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has about 412 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $3,251 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $11,805.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Atlantic Technical Center

4700 Coconut Creek Parkway, Coconut Creek, Florida 33063-3902
(754) 321-5100
http://www.atlantictechcenter.com/ClassDescriptions/HealthSciences/DentalAssistingTechnologyandManagement/tabid/2233/

The Certificate program at Atlantic Technical Center is taught at their Coconut Creek campus. The majority of the school’s 875 students are on 2-year programs. Annual fees for the dental assisting program are $3,935 and books and supplies costs of $420. On average the program takes 12 months to complete.

Broward College

111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
(954) 201-7400
http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/dental/Pages/default.aspx

The Certificate program at Broward College is offered at their campus in Fort Lauderdale in Broward County. The program is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 42,309 students are on 4-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. In-state tuition is approximately $2,542 per year, while students from other states will pay $8,712.

Superior Career Institute

5950 WEST OAKLAND PARK, LAUDERHILL, Florida 33313
(954) 306-3576
http://www.ishbt.edu/dental-assistant/

The Certificate program at Superior Career Institute is taught at their LAUDERHILL campus. Most of the school’s 84 students are on < 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $13,480 and material costs of $450. The average completion time for the program is 7 months.

Compu-Med Vocational Careers Corp

2900 W 12th Ave 3rd Fl #28, Hialeah, Florida 33012-4861
(305) 888-9200
http://www.davidquiroga.com/compumed2012/english/dentalcurso.html

Compu-Med Vocational Careers Corp’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Hialeah in Miami-Dade County, FL. Most of the school’s 821 students are on < 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $7,050 and material costs of $250. The average completion time for the program is 13 months.

Professional Training Centers

13926 SW 47th Street, Miami, Florida 33175
(305) 220-4120
http://www.ptcc.edu/academic-programs/dental-assisting-with-expanded-functions-and-radiography

Professional Training Centers’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL. The college has around 574 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. Tuition fees at this school are around $54,600 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $54,600.

Robert Morgan Educational Center

18180 SW 122nd Ave, Miami, Florida 33177
(305) 253-9920
http://ac.robertmorganeducenter.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=204683&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=405408

The Certificate program at Robert Morgan Educational Center is taught at their Miami campus. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has around 1,444 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for the dental assisting program are $3,184 and books and supplies costs of $460. On average the program takes 18 months to complete.

Lincoln College of Technology-West Palm Beach

2410 Metrocentre Blvd, West Palm Beach, Florida 33407
(561) 842-8324
http://www.lincolnedu.com/careers/health-sciences/dental-assistant/dental-assisting-5

Lincoln College of Technology’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of West Palm Beach, FL. The majority of the school’s 853 students are on 4-year programs. Tuition fees at the school are approximately $14,624 per year. Fees for students from other states are $14,624.

Palm Beach State College

4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, Florida 33461-4796
(561) 967-7222
http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/programs/dentalhealth/dental-assisting/

The Certificate program at Palm Beach State College is taught at their Lake Worth campus. The program is ADA accredited. Most of the school’s 29,974 students are on 4-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $2,378 per year, while fees for out-of-state students are $8,612.

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL

Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology

3702 Estey Ave, Naples, Florida 34104-4405
(239) 377-0900
http://lwit.edu/academics/programs/dental-assisting

The Certificate program at Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology is offered at their campus in Naples in Collier County. The program is ADA accredited. This public college has approximately 632 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this college are approximately $4,567 per year, while the fees for students from other states are $4,567.

North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

Manatee Technical Institute

6305 State Rd 70 East, Bradenton, Florida 34203
(941) 751-7900 x1008
http://manateetech.edu/career-prep/dental-assistant/

Manatee Technical Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Bradenton in Manatee County, FL. The college has about 1,361 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this college are about $3,950 per year. The fees for students from outside Florida are $3,950.

Meridian College

7020 Professional Pkwy E, Sarasota, Florida 34240
(941) 377-4880
http://www.meridian.edu/programs/dental-assistant/

The Certificate program at Meridian College is offered at their campus in Sarasota in Sarasota County. Most of the school’s 148 students are on 2-year programs. Annual fees for the dental assisting program are $15,500 and books and supplies costs of $500. The average completion time for the program is 9 months.

Ocala, FL

College of Central Florida

3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, Florida 34474
(352) 873-5800
http://www.cf.edu/smartcatalog/dental_asst.htm

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Ocala campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has around 8,449 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $2,522 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $10,126.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Anthem College-Orlando

3710 Maguire Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32803
(954) 400-2000
http://www.anthem.edu/orlando-florida/dental-assistant/associate-degree/

The Associate’s program at Anthem College is taught at their Orlando campus. The majority of the school’s 370 students are on 2-year programs. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Fees at the college are around $15,027 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $15,027.

Anthem College-Orlando

3710 Maguire Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32803
(954) 400-2000
http://www.anthem.edu/orlando-florida/dental-assistant/diploma/

The Certificate program at Anthem College is taught at their Orlando campus. The majority of the school’s 370 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at the college are approximately $15,027 per year. The fees for out-of-state students are $15,027.

Orlando Tech

301 W Amelia Street, Orlando, Florida 32801-1197
(407) 246-7060
http://www.ocpstechcenters.net/orlandotech/programs/career-certificates/Pages/Dental-Assisting.aspx

Orlando Tech’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Orlando, FL. The program is accredited by the ADA. This public college has around 802 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for the dental assisting program are $4,231 and books and supplies costs of $768. On average the program takes 10 months to complete.

Lincoln Technical Institute-Fern Park

7275 Estapona Circle, Fern Park, Florida 32730-2351
(407) 673-7406
http://www.lincolnedu.com/careers/health-sciences/dental-assistant/dental-assisting-2

The Certificate program at Lincoln Technical Institute is offered at their campus in Fern Park in Seminole County. The program is ADA accredited. Most of the school’s 365 students are on 2-year programs. Annual tuition fees for the dental assisting program are $15,500. On average the program takes 10 months to complete.

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

Eastern Florida State College

1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, Florida 32922
(321) 632-1111
http://www.easternflorida.edu/academics/degrees-certifications/applied-technology-diploma/dental-assisting.cfm

The Associate’s program at Eastern Florida State College is taught at their Cocoa campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 17,202 students are on 2-year programs. In-state tuition is approximately $2,496 per year. The fees for students from outside Florida are $9,739.

Port St. Lucie, FL

Fortis Institute-Port Saint Lucie

9022 South US Highway 1, Port Saint Lucie, Florida 34952
(772) 221-9799
http://www.fortis.edu/campuses/career-training/dental-assisting/9022-south-us-highway-1-port-st-lucie-fl.aspx

The Certificate program at Fortis Institute is taught at their Port Saint Lucie campus. The college has approximately 489 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this college are approximately $22,747 per year. The fees for students from outside Florida are $22,747.

Indian River State College

3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596
(772) 462-4772
http://www.irsc.edu/programs/healthscience/dentalassisting/dentalassisting.aspx?id=1853

Indian River State College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County, FL. The program is accredited by the ADA. Most of the school’s 17,816 students are on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,764 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $10,201.

Indian River State College

3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596
(772) 462-4772
http://www.irsc.edu/programs/healthscience/dentalassisting/dentalassisting.aspx?id=1853

The Associate’s program at Indian River State College is offered at their campus in Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has around 17,816 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $2,764 per year, while tuition for out-of-state students is $10,201.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Concorde Career Institute-Tampa

4202 W Spruce, Tampa, Florida 33607-4127
(813) 874-0094
http://www.concorde.edu/program/dental-assistant-assisting

Concorde Career Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Tampa, FL. The college has about 614 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $14,984 and material costs of $1,584. On average the program takes 8 months to complete.

Remington College-Tampa Campus

6302 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Ste 400, Tampa, Florida 33619
(813) 935-5700
http://www.remingtoncollege.edu/tampa-dental-assistant-training-program/

The Certificate program at Remington College is taught at their Tampa campus. Most of the school’s 214 students are on 4-year programs. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Tuition fees at this college are about $15,995 per year, while the fees for students from other states are $15,995.

Sanford-Brown Institute-Tampa

5701 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, Florida 33610-5428
(813) 621-0072
http://www.sanfordbrown.edu/Areas-Of-Study/Dental/Dental-Assisting-With-Expanded-Functions

The Certificate program at Sanford-Brown Institute is taught at their Tampa campus. This private, for-profit college has approximately 489 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at the school are approximately $14,585 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of Florida is $14,585.

Ultimate Medical Academy-Tampa

9309 N Florida Ave Ste 100, Tampa, Florida 33612-7237
(813) 386-6350
http://www.ultimatemedical.edu/programs/dental-assistant-training

The Certificate program at Ultimate Medical Academy is taught at their Tampa campus. Most of the school’s 12,393 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this school are about $15,550 per year. Tuition for students from outside Florida is $15,550.

Ultimate Medical Academy-Tampa

9309 N Florida Ave Ste 100, Tampa, Florida 33612-7237
(813) 386-6350
http://www.ultimatemedical.edu/programs/dental-assistant-training

The Associate’s program at Ultimate Medical Academy is offered at their campus in the city of Tampa. The college has around 12,393 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Fees at this school are around $15,550 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $15,550.

Pasco-Hernando Community College

10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, Florida 34654-5199
(727) 847-2727
http://phsc.edu/dentalassisting

The Certificate program at Pasco-Hernando Community College is offered at their campus in New Port Richey in Pasco County. Most of the school’s 10,376 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $3,095 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Florida are $11,792.

Pasco-Hernando Community College

10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, Florida 34654-5199
(727) 847-2727
http://phsc.edu/dentalassisting

Pasco-Hernando Community College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL. The college has around 10,376 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $3,095 per year. The fees for out-of-state students are $11,792.

Everest University-Largo

1199 East Bay Drive, Largo, Florida 33770-2556
(727) 725-2688
http://www.everest.edu/campus/largo__/program/dental-assistant

The Certificate program at Everest University is offered at their campus in the city of Largo. This is a full, 4-year private college with 513 students, of which 96% are undergraduates. Tuition fees at this college are around $15,156 per year. The fees for students from outside Florida are $15,156.

Pinellas Technical Education Center-St Petersburg

901 34th St S, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33711-2209
(727) 893-2500 x2520
http://www.myptec.org/programs_and_courses/dental_assisting/

Pinellas Technical Education Center’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Saint Petersburg, FL. The program is ADA accredited. This public college has around 990 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 80%. Tuition fees at this school are around $3,942 per year, while fees for out-of-state students are $3,942.

Ultimate Medical Academy

1255 Cleveland St, Clearwater, Florida 33755-4933
(727) 298-8685
http://www.ultimatemedical.edu/programs/dental-assistant-training

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Clearwater campus. This private, for-profit college has approximately 414 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $13,125 and material costs of $1,400. On average the program takes 7 months to complete.

Ultimate Medical Academy

1255 Cleveland St, Clearwater, Florida 33755-4933
(727) 298-8685
http://www.ultimatemedical.edu/programs/dental-assistant-training

The Certificate program at Ultimate Medical Academy is offered at their campus in the city of Clearwater. The majority of the school’s 414 students are on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $13,125 and material costs of $1,400. The average completion time for the program is 7 months.

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