Becoming a Dental Assistant in Austin, Texas
If you want to join a diverse mix of government employees, college students, high tech workers and musicians in the Texas state capitol, Austin might be the place for you. Whether a vibrant LGBT community and a town known as “The Live Music Capital of the World” are inducements or not, living and working as a dental assistant in Austin would mean you’re living in the number one-ranked place to live for both 2017 and 2018, according to US News & World Report, and, according to the FBI, in one of the safest major cities in the US.
In Texas, Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) must take an online test to achieve Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) certification. If you’re studying to become a dental assistant in Texas, there is a list of approved schools within the state. There are also ongoing continuing education requirements for RDAs in Texas.
Dental Assistant Schools in Austin
There are more than half a dozen schools offering dental assistant training in the greater Austin area, so choosing a school that works for your schedule and location should be relatively easy. Here are two:
- Austin Dental Assistant Academy, Austin. After 12 weeks of hands-on training, students will complete a 40-hour externship in a local dental office. The program includes an online radiology course, required to achieve the RDA designation. The school also offers career assistance, including placement leads, help writing cover letters and interview tips and techniques
- Austin Dental Assistant School, Austin and Round Rock. This school has three campuses, one each in north and south Austin and a third in Round Rock. Instruction takes place in dental offices, and classes are held Fridays and Saturdays. As long as you’ve completed high school or have your GED, you can complete the dental assistant program in as little as 12 weeks.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
There are more than 2,400 dental assistants working in the Austin area, earning an average of $19.73 average per hour or $41,050 annually. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that dental assistant growth will be 31 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Austin
Whether preparing materials for dental use or patients for treatment, dental assistants perform a vital role in both record-keeping and patient care. Their work goes a long way toward making patients feel comfortable. If you enjoy long, hot summers and short, mild winters and a city that’s known for its high tech and music cultures, Austin is experiencing robust growth and the lowest unemployment it’s seen this century.