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Dental Assistant Salaries in South Carolina

Economic opportunities in South Carolina are expanding, in conjunction with increases in its population base. The state’s Sun Belt-style growth patterns have steadily increased the availability of jobs in the healthcare sector, with hiring rates that are especially promising for dental assistants.

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Future forecasts project a significant increase in the need for dental assistants in South Carolina. Between 2016 and 2026, the number of available jobs in this category is expected to rise by 20.5 percent, which is a full percentage point higher than the nationwide growth rate.

As the state’s elderly population continues to grow, the demand for dental services will increase as well. This will lead to more opportunities for dental assistants, who typically work closely with dentists and help to provide patients with quality care.

Those who wish to become dental assistants in South Carolina can do so by completing an accredited training program. These programs typically last between one and two years, and they can be found at community colleges and technical schools throughout the state. After completing a training program, dental assistants must pass a state-level examination in order to earn their license.

Once licensed, dental assistants can find work in a variety of settings, including private dental practices, hospitals, and clinics. Many of these positions will require some evening or weekend hours, as many dental offices are open during traditional business hours. However, those who are willing to work non-traditional hours can often find positions with more flexible schedules.

Overall, dental assistants in South Carolina make slightly less than the national average. But strong demand for dental assistants in some cities may alter the equation, giving those who seek employment in those areas opportunities to find better paying jobs.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
South Carolina20163,97020264,78081020.4%560

StateTotal EmployedHourly MeanHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile
South Carolina5,020$18.85$39,200$29,250$33,810$38,660$45,530$50,650

Dental assistants in South Carolina who work in Charleston, Myrtle Beach or the Charlotte (NC)-Rock Hill (SC) metropolitan area will earn more than both the state and national average, with the latter paying the best. Meanwhile, dental assistants who find employment in the capital city of Columbia can expect to receive wages that are nearly equivalent to the state average. In Spartanburg and Greenville, salaries for dental assistants are lower than those in South Carolina’s other metro areas.

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC720$18.70$38,890$26,650$32,950$39,190$46,490$50,690
Charleston-North Charleston, SC800$20.66$42,980$34,900$39,980$44,310$48,250$50,850
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC2600$21.30$44,300$31,340$37,480$44,760$51,010$59,160
Columbia, SC960$19.02$39,560$31,810$34,590$38,440$45,280$50,750
Florence, SC200$18.74$38,990$31,840$34,250$38,050$44,730$50,420
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC1070$17.58$36,560$27,140$30,360$35,230$40,610$49,800
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC280$18.84$39,180$30,870$34,600$38,360$43,150$50,530
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC390$20.82$43,300$30,960$35,590$42,080$50,470$59,710
Spartanburg, SC350$16.76$34,850$27,170$31,150$34,920$38,810$45,860
Sumter, SC130$17.88$37,200$29,200$33,420$36,740$40,070$45,160

In South Carolina, dental assistants make more than nursing assistants, medical assistants and pharmacy technicians, and the differentials are fairly sizeable. Physical therapists are paid quite a bit more than dental assistants, however, as is the case in most states.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians7110$15.70$32,660$22,800$26,750$31,700$37,630$44,000
Nursing Assistants19380$12.77$26,560$19,970$22,290$25,550$29,610$33,350
Physical Therapist Assistants1580$27.13$56,430$36,580$45,500$57,500$66,570$77,170
Dental Assistants5020$18.85$39,200$29,250$33,810$38,660$45,530$50,650
Medical Assistants10890$15.61$32,470$23,490$27,540$31,780$36,920$40,740
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