Dental Assistant Salaries in Montana

Montana combines large size with a low population total. In all parts of this vast state, dental services are regularly needed to maintain sound oral health. This means that dentists and dental assistants remain in constant demand.

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In line with Montana’s increasing needs, the state’s total number of dental assistant positions is growing. In fact, about 200 jobs (an increase of 15 percent) will be added between 2016 and 2026. What’s more, in the average year, changes in employment status lead to roughly 170 postings for assistant positions.

With an aging population and a rise in the number of people with dental insurance, the demand for dental services is expected to continue to grow. This means that opportunities for dental assistants will continue to be strong in Montana. Dentists typically look for candidates who have completed an Montana-accredited dental assistant program and are certified by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Those who have experience working in a dental office, are familiar with dental software, and are comfortable using dental equipment will also have an advantage when applying for jobs.

At $37,000-plus a year, Montana dental assistant salaries fall on the lower side of the national average. However, the state’s most experienced assistants can draw annual salaries close to $50,000.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
Montana20161,27020261,47020015.7%170

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
Montana1,360$17.89$37,210$27,470$32,200$36,660$42,370$49,360

In all major metropolitan areas, Montana dental assistants earn similar annual incomes. The highest earnings, an average of just over $39,000, can be found in the Billings area. That’s less than $2,000 more than the lowest earnings (found in the Missoula area).

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Billings, MT250$18.81$39,120$27,890$32,990$38,590$46,240$51,340
Great Falls, MT120$17.77$36,960$28,400$32,170$36,070$40,180$48,250
Missoula, MT190$17.97$37,380$27,840$32,990$37,180$43,140$48,990

Montana dental assistants rank well behind physical therapy assistants for annual income. Medical and pharmacy assistants make just a little less than dental assistants. Nursing assistants, however, earn several thousand dollars less each year.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians1180$17.50$36,390$28,260$32,280$35,940$39,640$46,640
Nursing Assistants5720$14.63$30,440$23,800$26,890$30,020$34,180$38,690
Physical Therapist Assistants280$25.90$53,870$36,850$43,970$51,220$62,260$73,790
Dental Assistants1360$17.89$37,210$27,470$32,200$36,660$42,370$49,360
Medical Assistants1240$17.50$36,390$27,590$31,360$36,110$40,730$47,580


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