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Dental Assistant Salaries in South Dakota

South Dakota is sparsely populated, with less than one million inhabitants in total. But its expanding economy and reasonable cost of living are bringing in new residents, and its current rate of population growth is higher than the national average. Healthcare services in South Dakota are increasingly in demand, creating a need for dental assistants with good qualifications.

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Between 2016 and 2026, the number of positions available for dental assistants in South Dakota is projected to rise by 10.1 percent. This is well below the national average of increase for all states, but the state’s high birth rates could spark a vigorous demand for assistants with training or experience in pediatric dentistry.

To become a dental assistant in South Dakota, one must complete an accredited dental assisting program and pass the state’s jurisprudence exam. Additionally, dental assistants must complete a specified number of continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain their license.

There are many accredited dental assisting programs in South Dakota. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as nine months, while others may take up to two years to complete. Many of these programs offer both classroom and clinical instruction, so that students can gain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their careers.

Wages for dental assistants in South Dakota are slightly lower than the national average, and even further below the mean salaries for dental assistants in neighboring states like South Dakota and Minnesota.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
South Dakota201684020269309010.7%100

StateTotal EmployedHourly MeanHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile
South Dakota990$19.12$39,770$28,050$33,250$39,530$46,810$52,710

Dental assistants in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, are paid more than dental assistants employed in any other location. In contrast, dental assistants in Rapid City, the state’s second-largest city, make less than the overall state average. Some South Dakota residents who live in the southeastern corner of the state commute to jobs in the Sioux City (IA, NE, SD) metropolitan area, and dental assistants who find work there are paid more than the South Dakota state average (and more than the national average as well).

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Rapid City, SD230$16.96$35,290$27,080$30,130$35,240$39,700$43,950
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD210$21.00$43,680$34,330$37,710$42,830$48,900$56,670
Sioux Falls, SD270$22.35$46,480$31,450$42,730$47,240$52,370$59,120

Dental assistants in South Dakota make several thousand dollars less per year than residents who work as physical therapists. But they are better compensated than medical assistants, nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians in the state, and usually by a good margin.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians1250$16.53$34,380$26,720$29,650$33,940$38,520$44,010
Nursing Assistants5990$13.52$28,120$21,560$24,180$27,850$31,370$36,250
Physical Therapist Assistants280$20.76$43,180$32,910$36,550$42,220$48,620$53,610
Dental Assistants990$19.12$39,770$28,050$33,250$39,530$46,810$52,710
Medical Assistants930$14.97$31,130$25,200$27,490$30,620$35,250$39,170

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