How to Become a Dental Assistant in Raleigh, North Carolina
Dental assistants are typically responsible for a range of duties that fall under the supervision and direction of dentists and hygienists. Duties may include a variety of services including patient education, patient prepping, and the care and maintenance of specialty equipment and machines.
In the thriving city of Raleigh, job outlook and salaries are expected to remain strong for most medical and dental professionals, including dental assistants.
Dental Assistant Schools in Raleigh
There are two classifications for certified dental assistants, DA I and DA II. North Carolina does not have its own licensing board, which means that dental professionals must turn to national certification bodies to fulfill educational and training requirements.
Raleigh and other North Carolina residents looking for dental assistant training programs have a number of options to choose from.
- The Sunrise School of Dental Assisting has three locations. They offer a 13-week training program with evening courses designed to fit around a full-time work schedule. Training includes certification in nitrous oxide sedation and radiology. Hands-on experience takes place in real-world dental offices. The school offers small class sizes and one-on-one tutoring.
- The Triangle School of Dental Assisting offers a flexible, 15-week program based in Raleigh. Upon course completion, students will receive both a Dental Assisting I certificate and radiology certification. Job placement assistance and financing are available through the school.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In the city of Raleigh, there are about 1,430 working dental assistants, who earn an average of $21.35 per hour or an average annual wage of $44,410. Both salaries and job growth rates are above the national averages in this category.
In the state of North Carolina, there were about 8,970 individuals employed as dental assistants in 2016, with a projected increase of 23.6 percent by 2026, bringing that total to 11,090. About 1,300 job openings are expected to be available to dental assistants annually into the coming years.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Raleigh
Dental assistants must pass the national certification exam to become a certified dental assistant (CDA) and have the recognized certification for x-ray and radiography procedures. The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is the national agency responsible for licensing dental assistants.
Raleigh has a promising future for dental assistants, with a strong salary base and plenty of openings available into the foreseeable future. Those looking into this field should consider an accredited and in-depth training program in order to offer the best service and stay competitive at both regional and national levels.