How to Become a Dental Assistant in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is Music City, and it’s known for the Grand Ole Opry, country music and a vibrant nightlife. It’s a fun place to live and work, and a great choice for starting a career as a dental assistant, as Tennessee is seeing strong growth in this industry.
Dental assistants are professionals who support the work of dentists by assisting during procedures, educating patients, managing patient records and files and doing other important work. To find out what you need to do to become a dental assistant in Nashville, check out Tennessee’s requirements here.
Dental Assistant Schools in Nashville
The best way to start a career as a dental assistant is to complete an appropriate educational program. Nashville is home to two programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and a couple of other programs.
- Volunteer State Community College. The dental assistant program here is accredited by CODA and offers students a technical certificate that takes about 12 months to complete. Just 24 students are admitted to the program each year, so it is competitive. Students can expect to complete classroom work as well as 400 hours of clinical work experience. The campus is located in Gallatin, just a little to the northeast of Nashville. Set in a quiet area, students have access to the Cumberland River and several natural areas.
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology. This CODA-accredited program also prepares students to become dental assistants with 12 months of classes that include three months of supervised work experience in a clinical setting. The campus is located on the west side of town near several big shopping centers and a couple of golf courses.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Tennessee is currently experiencing a 27.3 percent growth in jobs for dental assistants. There will be plenty of opportunities for qualified workers in the coming years. In the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metropolitan area, dental assistants earn $16.95 per hour and $35,250 per year, on average.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Nashville
Nashville is the largest city and the capital city of Tennessee. With a population in the city of nearly 700,000, and over two million in the combined metropolitan area, you can expect to find plenty of job opportunities as a qualified dental assistant. The vast majority of dental assistants work in dental offices, and you’ll be able to find positions in the heart of the city, in the suburbs and even out in the country.