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Dental Assistant Salaries in Missouri

Known as the Show Me State, Missouri has much to show aspiring dental assistants who hope to launch their careers within its borders. Missouri is undergoing a demographic shift that is relocating its population to its growing cities, and aspiring dental assistants who search for employment in the right places should have an excellent chance of finding work.

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Available job openings for dental assistants in Missouri are increasing. From 2016 to 2016, the number of people employed in this profession is projected to grow by 14.6 percent, which is a few percentage points below the national average but still high enough to produce favorable opportunities for most job applicants.

The vast majority of dental assistants in Missouri are concentrated in the state’s two major metropolitan areas, Kansas City and St. Louis. However, there are opportunities for employment in other parts of the state as well. Typical employment settings are dental offices, clinics, and hospitals. Some dental assistants may also find work in other healthcare settings such as nursing homes or physicians’ offices.

Most dental assistants in Missouri have at least a high school diploma, although some employers may prefer or require postsecondary education or certification. Although not required by law, many dental assistants choose to become certified through the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Certification may improve job prospects and lead to higher earnings.

The salaries of dental assistants in Missouri are a bit lower than average, based on statistics compiled for the United States as a whole. In general, wages for dental assistants are relatively uniform across the state, although dentists in small towns are likely to offer lower salaries than Missouri’s urban employers.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800

StateTotal EmployedHourly MeanHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile

Dental assistants who work in St. Louis or Jefferson City, Missouri’s largest city and capital city respectively, are compensated at higher levels than in other locations. In these cities, salaries are roughly equivalent to the national average, while in Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield the wages of dental assistants are in line with the Missouri state average. The state’s lowest wages (among metropolitan areas) are paid to dental assistants in Cape Girardeau, which is in the southeast corner of the state.

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL140$15.80$32,870$23,140$26,580$32,060$38,910$46,020
Columbia, MO250$19.12$39,760$28,600$32,830$41,330$46,900$50,570
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO570$17.51$36,410$27,720$31,320$36,860$41,090$46,430
Jefferson City, MO130$19.37$40,290$31,910$35,390$41,220$46,680$49,890
Joplin, MO130$17.64$36,680$27,540$33,280$37,010$41,060$46,810
Kansas City, MO-KS2110$19.10$39,730$27,090$30,760$40,420$47,770$53,680
Springfield, MO660$18.69$38,870$29,190$33,780$38,750$45,300$49,760
St. Louis, MO-IL2400$19.26$40,060$27,140$34,090$40,420$47,180$51,780

Dental assistants in Missouri earn more than those who are employed as pharmacy technicians, nursing assistants or medical assistants. Conversely, physical therapists are paid more than dental assistants, based on high demand for their services.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians9970$15.76$32,790$21,550$25,980$31,230$38,130$45,700
Nursing Assistants36240$12.73$26,490$19,700$21,780$24,800$29,540$35,200
Physical Therapist Assistants2480$25.34$52,700$34,030$44,310$52,680$61,280$70,560
Dental Assistants5390$18.87$39,250$27,570$32,590$39,280$46,410$50,980
Medical Assistants10870$15.92$33,110$23,990$27,890$33,160$38,040$42,130

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