How to Become a Dental Assistant in Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is famous for its lavish casinos, but there is much more to this big desert city and it’s a great place to live and work as a dental assistant. A dental assistant is a trained professional who works with dentists to provide assistance during patient exams and procedures, to perform X-rays for patients and to perform clerical office duties, among other important tasks. Most states have requirements for training and licensing of dental assistants, and you can see Nevada’s here.
Dental Assistant Schools in Las Vegas
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is a good source for quality educational programs for dental assisting. Las Vegas has one accredited program, but that doesn’t mean you have only one option. Other programs can provide adequate training to prepare you to become certified.
- College of Southern Nevada. This dental assisting program is CODA-accredited. It includes laboratory time, classroom learning, and clinical work for hands-on experience. You will also participate in an externship at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dental School and other locations. The program is offered at the school’s Charleston campus, which is situated between the Strip – and all the exciting nightlife of the city – and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
- Las Vegas Dental Assistant School. A shorter, although not accredited program, is available here and takes just 12 weeks to complete. In addition to classroom learning, there is a 40-hour externship to give you hands-on work experience. The campus is not far from all the famous casinos and is also close to downtown Las Vegas, home to the Fremont Street Experience and other attractions.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
From 2016 to 2026, the growth in jobs for qualified dental assistants is expected to be strong throughout Nevada, increasing by 16.1 percent. The Las Vegas area currently has nearly 2,000 working dental assistants and more will be needed. You can get a good idea of salary expectations in the city from the current average: $17.01 per hour and $35,370 per year.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” so you won’t be bored working and living here. The climate is warm and dry, and the surrounding desert is a great place for outdoor recreation year-round. With a population in the region of over two million, you can expect to find plenty of job opportunities once you are a certified and qualified dental assistant.