How to Become a Dental Assistant in Tampa
Dental assistants are primarily responsible for preparing patients for dental procedures and aiding dentists during those procedures. Dental assistants may also schedule appointments, chart records and keep the patient calm and comfortable before and during procedures.
Tampa and its bay area are home to many beautiful beaches, three major league sports teams, museums and other attractions. Tampa is a diverse city known for its appreciation of the arts, with festivals and performing arts events held year-round. Tampa is also a great place to consider working as a dental assistant. To find out the state requirements for this profession, please click here.
Dental Assistant Schools in Tampa
To train as a dental assistant, you must complete a post-secondary education program. There are several to choose from in and around Tampa.
- The Dental Assisting Institute has a 10-week program that is certified by the Florida Board of Dentistry. The program is a combination of book study, online testing and clinical practice. Students will also complete a 40-hour internship, then three months of either paid or unpaid training by a licensed dentist. At this time, the student will be eligible to receive their X-ray and Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) certifications. This school is near the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum and within driving distance of Florida Botanical Gardens and Tropicana field (Tampa Bay Rays baseball field).
- Concorde Career Institute in Tampa offers a dental assisting diploma program that can be completed in eight months. This intensive, hands-on training program is accredited by the Florida Board of Dentistry. There are many notable museums close by including the Glazer Children’s Museum and the Henry B. Plant museum. Also, within driving distance are the Florida Aquarium, Amalie Arena, Raymond James stadium (home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and George M. Steinbrenner field (where the New York Yankees hold their spring training).
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The number of dental assistants working in the state of Florida is predicted to increase by 23 percent by the year 2026. In 2017, there were approximately 2,670 dental assistants working in the Tampa Bay area. Dental assistants in this region earn an average of $18.86 an hour, or $39,230 annually. This is slightly higher than the state annual average salary of $37,920.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Tampa
A few of the dental offices to consider working at in Tampa include Coast Dental Services, Aspen Dental and Heartland Dental. Not only does Tampa offer several options for dental assisting school and work, it is a beautiful place to live. U.S. News ranked it number 75 out of 125 best places to live in the United States.