How Much Can Dental Assistants Earn in Washington?

Both Washington and its biggest city, Seattle, are growing. In fact, the population of Seattle is growing faster than almost any other city in the U.S. This boom means that job growth is also strong, including an increasing demand throughout the state for qualified dental assistants.

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Job growth for dental assistants is nearly 19 percent in Washington. This is faster than average job growth and is expected to result in more than 1,500 open positions every year through 2026 at least.

Washington is a great state for dental assistants because it has a lot of job opportunities, a lower than average cost of living, and various benefits programs for workers in the medical industry.

Training options for dental assistants in Washington include programs through local community colleges, vocational schools, or technical schools. These provide accredited coursework at an affordable price. The state also has two universities with dental assisting programs in Seattle and Tacoma that can be completed in just a few semesters by full-time students.

After completing an accredited dental assistant program, graduates will need to pass the state’s licensing exam in order to work in Washington. The state also requires that all dental assistants complete continuing education courses every two years in order to renew their license and keep up with the latest changes in dentistry.

Dental assistants can not only expect to find steady work in the state, but to earn a good living. The average annual salary in Washington is more than $4,000 higher than the national average. The top earners in the state can make $60,000 per year and more.

AreaNameBase YearEmployedProjection YearProjected EmploymentChange% ChangeProjected Average Annual Job Openings
United States2018346,0002026384,70038,70019.5%44,800
Washington201611,360202613,5102,15018.9%1,560

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
Washington10,780$21.94$45,640$33,500$38,030$44,950$52,260$60,930

The metro areas with the highest employment numbers for dental assistants are Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue and the Vancouver area that also includes Portland, Oregon. These are also the areas with the highest salary potential, while those dental assistants working in Yakima and the Lewiston, Idaho metro area earn the leas

AreaTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bellingham, WA340$21.66$45,050$34,760$39,000$45,380$50,720$56,490
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA480$21.24$44,170$33,080$35,810$40,940$51,630$60,920
Kennewick-Richland, WA390$19.05$39,620$28,780$33,040$38,530$46,360$53,160
Lewiston, ID-WA100$17.85$37,120$25,070$33,330$37,100$41,070$48,810
Longview, WA130$19.65$40,880$25,890$32,210$41,050$48,520$54,810
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA220$20.61$42,860$31,870$35,520$41,670$49,070$59,110
Olympia-Tumwater, WA380$22.20$46,180$34,190$38,710$46,090$51,950$60,220
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA2960$23.73$49,370$37,230$43,210$48,970$56,400$63,020
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA5500$23.11$48,070$34,890$40,360$47,500$55,640$62,760
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA990$20.47$42,570$33,320$36,540$41,370$47,800$53,270
Walla Walla, WA80$21.21$44,110$35,320$38,580$43,520$49,720$54,370
Wenatchee, WA140$19.85$41,290$33,940$36,290$40,160$46,010$51,450
Yakima, WA500$18.74$38,970$31,930$34,820$38,360$42,820$49,620

Dental assistant salaries in Washington are favorable compared to similar careers. They earn more than nursing and medical assistants as well as pharmacy technicians. They earn less than physical therapist assistants.

OccupationTotal EmployedHourly MeanAnnual Mean10th Percentile25th PercentileAnnual Median75th Percentile90th Percentile
Pharmacy Technicians7150$21.11$43,910$33,210$37,730$43,860$49,750$57,230
Nursing Assistants34200$16.25$33,800$26,830$29,360$33,220$37,820$41,460
Physical Therapist Assistants1580$28.72$59,730$40,750$51,920$59,920$69,950$79,540
Dental Assistants10780$21.94$45,640$33,500$38,030$44,950$52,260$60,930
Medical Assistants15780$21.04$43,760$33,140$37,300$43,470$49,840$57,140


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