How to Become a Dental Assistant in New Orleans
New Orleans, or the Big Easy, is a port city most known for its music scene, celebrations and festivals, and its rich French and Spanish Creole history. New Orleans is the most populated city in Louisiana and is considered one of the top commercial and economic regions of the Gulf Coast. It is a great place to start a career in many professions, including dental assisting.
Dental assistants work with dentists and dental hygienists to perform dental procedures. They also maintain patient care and sometimes are responsible for administrative tasks. Most states require certification for this profession, so you should check out the Louisiana requirements here so you will know where to begin.
New Orleans Dental Assistant Schools
Before becoming a certified dental assistant, you will need to complete a post-secondary dental assistant training program. There are options outside of the New Orleans area, but there is one main dental assistant school in the area.
- New Orleans Dental Center School (NODC) for Dental Assisting. This 15-week, Saturdays only course is held in a dental office. This is a fast-paced course and has a small student-to-teacher ratio. NODC received its license from and is regulated by the State of Louisiana Board of Regents. NODC is in Harvey, less than 10 miles from New Orleans.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The job growth for dental assistants in the state of Louisiana is expected to increase by six percent in the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. In 2016, there were approximately 3,670 dental assistants in Louisiana, and approximately 1,350 of them were working in the New Orleans-Metairie region. The average salary for dental assistants in that region is $14.25 an hour and $29,630 annually.
Working as a Dental Assistant in New Orleans
New Orleans is the heaviest populated city-parish in New Orleans, meaning there are ample opportunities to find work as a dental assistant. Additionally, metropolitan areas like the New Orleans-Metairie area generally pay dental assistants a higher salary than those in suburban areas. This is good news if you are considering working as a dental assistant in New Orleans, since the cost of living there is slightly higher than the cost of living in the state of Louisiana as a whole. Furthermore, from Bourbon Street and the French Quarter to the many sporting events being held at the Superdome to Mardi Gras, there is always something to do or somewhere to visit in New Orleans.