How to Become a Dental Assistant in Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas, which makes it a great option for starting a career in dental assisting in the state. The entire metropolitan area has a population of over 640,000 and plenty of dental offices needing qualified assistants to help with patients, X-rays and clerical work.
Known as “Cowtown,” Wichita played an important role in cattle drives in the past and that rugged history persists in the local culture. It’s a fun place to live, but before you decide to work here make sure you understand Kansas requirements for training and certification for dental assistants. You can find that information here.
Dental Assistant Schools in Wichita
Wichita hosts just one dental assistant program, and it is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. There is another accredited program to consider that is about an hour away in Salina, Kansas.
- Wichita State University Tech. WSU Tech offers students two options for training to become a dental assistant. The associate’s degree program includes 61 credits, and the technical certificate program is just 37 credits. Graduates are prepared to pass certification exams to become dental assistants. Both are offered at the WSU South campus, which is situated near many restaurants and shopping areas and close to the Grandview Heights and Hilltop neighborhoods.
- Salina Area Technical College. Salina is located about an hour north of Wichita and provides an accredited alternative to WSU Tech. Students who complete the certificate program are prepared to pass certification exams and will have 300 hours of clinical, hands-on experience. Salina is in the middle of farm country, but it is a hub for transportation, culture and education, with several colleges in the area.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Growth in dental assisting careers in Kansas is a little slow compared to other states. But, there is still growth and the most job opportunities are in larger cities, like Wichita. The average salaries that dental assistants earn in Wichita are $35,190 per year and $16.92 per hour, but the biggest earners in the area make an average of $48,880 per year.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Wichita
Wichita has a large, concentrated population, and that makes it an ideal spot to find work as a dental assistant. There are many dental offices serving the area. As a place to live, Wichita offers diverse culture, arts, food and a long and fascinating history, dating all the way back to the original Native American residents from over 3,000 years ago.