How to Become a Dental Assistant in Orlando
Orlando is the county seat of Orange County, Florida. It is the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the United States and the fourth largest city in Florida, as well as one of the United States most visited tourist spots, It’s also known as “The Theme Capital of the World.” Attractions include Legoland, SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.
There are more than 8,500 people employed in Orlando, and one career to consider is a dental assistant. Dental assistants prepare patients and treatment rooms for dental procedures and help the dentist perform these procedures. They may also take X-rays, chart records and perform various administrative tasks. There are specific requirements in each state for this profession. You can find the guidelines for Florida here.
Orlando Dental Assistant Schools
Completing an accredited dental assistant training program is usually a requirement for most states. Orlando has a few options for you to choose from:
- Florida Career College. At Florida Career College, you can train to become a dental assistant in as little as 10 months. This certificate program is personalized and hands-on. Students even receive help with financial aid and job placement. Day and evening classes are available. The school is a less than thirty-minute drive from Universal Studios.
- Dental Assisting Academy of Central Florida. The Dental Assisting Academy of Central Florida offers a 10-week program in dental assisting. It consists of 84 lecture hours and hands-on training in a local dentist’s office. This program also includes a 50-hour internship. Evening and weekend classes are available, and class size is limited to 10 students. The Dental Assisting Academy is a 20-minute drive from both SeaWorld and Walt Disney World.
- Orlando Technical College. Located less than 10 miles from Universal Studios, Orlando Technical College offers a dental assisting program that is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. The program consists of nine credits that can be applied towardan Associate in Science degree if you decide to continue your education. Graduates of this program may sit for the national certification exam.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Florida expects to experience a 23 percent increase in the number of dental assistants employed in the state in the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Dental assistants in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford region earn an hourly average of $17.28, and a yearly average of $35,950. The highest earners in the state average $45,200 yearly.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Orlando
In Orlando, some dental offices you may consider working at include Lach Orthodontic Specialists, East Orlando Dental and Lake Eola Dental. Most Orlando employers prefer to hire dental assistants who are certified, and they pay between $15-$20 per hour.
There are options for school and work if you choose to become a dental assistant in Orlando. You can also explore one of the many tourist attractions when you’re not at school or work, including Kennedy Space Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Epcot Center.