Dental Assistant Salaries in Tennessee

Tennessee is a growing state, and much of that growth can be attributed to Music City. Nashville and its surrounding towns are booming, and this means the region needs good health and dental care more than ever. Dentists in Nashville and throughout the city are looking for qualified assistants to help their practices run safely and smoothly.

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The upward trend in population in Nashville and across Tennessee helps to explain the significant demand for good dental assistants. The growth in this field is impressive at over 27 percent. Aspiring dental assistants should find more than 800 available positions every year for the next several years.

Although growth and demand are strong, Tennessee dental assistant salaries don’t compare favorably with many other states. The average annual salary here is nearly $3,000 less than the national average.

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

Average salaries for dental assistants in Johnson City and the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metro area come close to the national average. The areas with the lowest salaries include Kingsport-Bristol, Cleveland and Memphis.

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Chattanooga, TN-GA490$17.98$37,410$26,500$31,660$37,400$42,160$50,330
Clarksville, TN-KY270$19.08$39,690$29,830$33,060$37,420$46,410$55,260
Cleveland, TN100$17.79$37,000$24,080$29,670$36,380$44,590$50,960
Jackson, TN90$18.39$38,250$26,600$30,510$40,770$45,960$49,360
Johnson City, TN200$19.30$40,130$26,880$32,960$41,540$47,650$51,640
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA240$17.01$35,380$25,420$28,750$34,530$41,180$48,940
Knoxville, TN840$18.68$38,860$30,370$34,570$38,790$44,710$49,640
Memphis, TN-MS-AR1340$17.84$37,110$23,500$28,020$34,760$45,420$57,040
Morristown, TN80$15.40$32,040$24,080$27,060$29,870$36,120$45,780
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN1830$19.40$40,350$27,110$33,050$39,470$48,940$57,100

The salary for a dental assistant in Tennessee compares favorably to similar careers in the state. A dental assistant here typically earns more than a medical assistant, nursing assistant and pharmacy tech, but less than a physical therapist assistant.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians10270$16.59$34,510$22,970$26,710$31,690$38,620$47,250
Nursing Assistants29200$13.10$27,250$20,650$22,970$26,590$30,640$35,790
Physical Therapist Assistants3290$27.15$56,470$30,640$46,490$57,730$67,700$78,520
Dental Assistants5680$18.72$38,940$26,270$32,160$38,120$46,450$53,950
Medical Assistants15280$16.16$33,610$24,640$27,890$32,290$38,070$44,840

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