Becoming a Dental Assistant in Chicago

Chicago is America’s third largest city, and its world-class attractions include a river walk, the Navy Pier, Mies Van der Rohe skyscrapers, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, modern and Impressionist art and a variety of events, from hockey to baseball and music to dance.

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While there are no state regulations for dental assistants working under the supervision of Illinois dentists, national Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) qualifications are required and some additional training may be necessary in order for Chicago dental assistants to perform other clinical duties, including monitoring patients under sedation.

Dental Assistant Schools in Chicago

You can choose to study at a downtown or more suburban school in Chicago, depending on your location and preference. There are numerous schools that offer dental assistant courses. Here are just two of them:

  • Dental Assistant Academy of Chicago, Chicago. In order to enroll, you must have a high school diploma and pass an entrance exam that includes a test of manual dexterity. There are 11 weeks of classes in lecture format, plus hands-on practice in dental offices. The school is located on the lake in downtown Chicago, with great transit options for students.

  • Novera Dental Assisting Center, Franklin Park. Located closer to Chicago’s O’Hare airport than to downtown, Novera’s program lasts 10 weeks and covers not only clinical studies like terminology, equipment operation, instrumentation and materials commonly used, but also patient experience and team building. Students get more than 8 hours of instruction in radiology during the 10-week program. Class size is limited to 10 students.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The vast majority of Illinois’ more than 14,000 dental assistants work in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area, which is the second-highest ranked area for dental assistant employment in the country. Chicago dental assistants can expect to earn an average of $19.27 per hour or $40,090 annually.

Working as a Dental Assistant in Chicago

In 2018, the Chicago area ended a seven-year period of 16.6 percent growth. Most growth tracked was in the Loop and the Near North, West and South Side areas, where job growth increases were as high as 25 percent. But in the six-county Chicago metro area as a whole, private sector employment grew 13.5 percent. Job prospects for dental assistants are good.

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Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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