What Can a Dental Assistant Earn in Iowa?

Known for its miles and miles of cornfields, Iowa’s population of just over three million is largely concentrated in a few urban areas. These areas are in particular need of qualified dental assistants as the entire healthcare industry grows.

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Across the country, the number of positions for dental assistants is rising. Iowa had nearly 3,000 employed in 2016, and that number is expected to rise to almost 3,500 by 2026. This represents job growth of 16.9 percent, a faster rate of growth than the average across all careers.

In Iowa, dental assistants earn a little bit more than the national average. The top ten percent of earners in the field make more than $52,000 per year in the state.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
Iowa20162,97020263,47050016.8%400
StateTotal EmployedHourly MeanHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile
U.S.351,470$19.79$41,170$27,980$33,440$40,080$48,550$56,930
Iowa3,300$20.29$42,210$32,810$36,470$41,870$47,940$52,620

The metro area that includes Council Bluffs and Omaha in Nebraska has the highest number of working dental assistants, but it also has the lowest salaries by more than $7,000 on average. The highest salaries are in and around Cedar Rapids.

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Ames, IA130$22.22$46,220$36,540$41,060$45,940$51,070$58,850
Cedar Rapids, IA340$22.96$47,760$36,230$40,580$46,310$53,170$62,860
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL400$17.03$35,420$26,400$29,990$35,230$40,180$46,620
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA530$21.02$43,720$33,860$40,520$44,760$48,850$51,700
Dubuque, IA160$20.00$41,590$33,260$37,480$42,550$47,150$49,930
Iowa City, IA250$20.30$42,230$33,650$36,080$40,000$48,380$55,390
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA1070$19.46$40,490$29,860$34,220$38,820$46,670$53,960
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD210$21.00$43,680$34,330$37,710$42,830$48,900$56,670
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA220$17.75$36,910$28,490$34,110$37,360$40,740$44,900

When compared to similar careers in the state, dental assistants earn a decent salary, more than nursing assistants, medical assistants and pharmacy technicians. Physical therapist assistants can earn between $51,000 and $71,000 per year in Iowa.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians4270$16.07$33,430$24,070$27,970$33,100$38,130$44,410
Nursing Assistants22450$14.67$30,520$24,040$26,710$29,630$33,550$39,200
Physical Therapist Assistants1030$24.84$51,670$35,780$42,490$49,910$60,600$71,700
Dental Assistants3300$20.29$42,210$32,810$36,470$41,870$47,940$52,620
Medical Assistants4970$17.25$35,880$27,130$30,980$35,610$40,190$47,210
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