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Dental Assistant Salaries in North Dakota

Despite its limited population, North Dakota has a robust economy that produces many well-compensated positions in the health care sector. Dental assistants will find numerous employment opportunities in its three metropolitan areas, and jobs can occasionally be found in the many smaller communities that dot its expansive landscape as well.

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It is estimated that the number of jobs available for dental assistants in North Dakota will increase by 15.9 percent between 2016 and 2026. At present, there are approximately 700 people employed as dental assistants in North Dakota, which is attributable to its sparse population rather than a lack of opportunity.

In general, the job outlook for dental assistants is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this occupation will grow nationally by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributable to an aging population’s increased demand for dental services and expanded access to insurance coverage. Dental assistants will be needed to perform administrative and clinical tasks in order to free up dentists’ time so that they can see more patients.

Dental assistant jobs pay well in North Dakota, with compensation rates that exceed the national average by 10-20 percent. Among Upper Midwestern states, only Minnesota offers higher wages for dental assistants. Moreover, cost of living in North Dakota is also low, so dental assistants’ purchasing power is on par with what it would be in other states.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
North Dakota2016700202681011015.7%90

StateTotal EmployedHourly MeanHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile
North Dakota790$22.66$47,140$35,250$40,600$46,340$52,390$60,800

North Dakota has three population centers large enough to carry the metropolitan area designation: Bismarck, Fargo (ND)-Moorhead (MN) and Greater Grand Forks. Bismarck offers the highest wages for dental assistants, with compensation levels that rank second only to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN) in the Upper Midwest/North Central region. Dental assistants in the Fargo-Moorhead area make slightly more than those who find employment in Grand Forks, although both areas pay rates that are solidly above the U.S. average.

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bismarck, ND160$24.69$51,360$35,950$44,040$51,910$59,780$65,650
Fargo, ND-MN300$23.16$48,180$36,910$41,480$46,440$51,860$60,030
Grand Forks, ND-MN110$22.33$46,440$35,490$42,240$47,010$51,860$58,160

People who work as dental assistants in North Dakota earn much more than those who find positions as medical assistants, pharmacy technicians or nursing assistants. North Dakota is one of the few states where dental assistants are paid about the same as physical therapists, who generally top the compensation list among related fields.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians890$19.12$39,770$31,510$34,870$39,910$45,710$49,520
Nursing Assistants8020$16.50$34,320$26,920$29,930$34,270$38,500$42,500
Physical Therapist Assistants130$22.52$46,830$23,490$37,180$47,650$56,900$64,360
Dental Assistants790$22.66$47,140$35,250$40,600$46,340$52,390$60,800
Medical Assistants410$17.87$37,170$28,400$32,560$36,640$40,840$48,440

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