Your Guide to Dental Assisting in Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas is an exciting place to begin your career as a dental assistant. This small border city along the Rio Grande is just 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the largest and most active port of entry to the U.S. in the Rio Grande Valley, with a growing population steeped in Mexican culture. With a lower cost of living than the U.S. average and a good housing market, Laredo makes a perfect place to get on your feet while studying or searching for your first dental assistant job.
Dental Assistant Schools
To become a registered dental assistant (RDA) in Texas, you should train in an accredited program to pass exams issued by the Texas Dental Board. Some available dental assistant programs in Laredo include:
- Laredo College. The two-month program offered at this school has classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays. Graduates are rewarded a certificate of completion from the Continuing Education Department, CPR certification from the American Heart Association and can take the Dental Assistant state certification exam from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.
- Laredo Dental Assistant School. With classes inside a working dental practice, this school’s 12-week program meets on consecutive Saturdays. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED, updated immunization records and a deposit to secure a spot in the class. Free career services are offered after graduation. The program also includes a 40-hour externship experience.
Salary and Job Prospects
In 2018, Laredo dental assistants earned a median income of $15.15 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While there were 180 dental assistants employed in Laredo that same year, Texas has a faster-than-average job growth rate predicted for this career field. According to the Projections Managing Partnership, Texas dental assistant employment is expected to grow 22 percent by the year 2026. That’s much faster than average for jobs across the U.S.
Entertainment and Life in Laredo
When you’re not busy building your career, you should be able to enjoy the city in which you live. Full of beaches, entertainment and festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this historic city. History buffs will enjoy the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum or the old-time Laredo Plaza Theater.
Check out Lake Casa Blanca for recreational activities like biking, fishing and camping. Other must-see places include the Laredo TAMIU Planetarium and the Laredo Energy Arena. Laredo offers a unique opportunity for dental assistants to work in a culturally rich Texan border city.