Dental Assisting in Washington State

Washington is a great state to live and work (in recent years, it was rated by Forbes as the best state to make a living) and there are excellent opportunities for budding dental assistants to throw themselves into a great career. [Seguir leyendo en español]

Robust growth in dental assisting jobs in predicted. According to the Employment Security Department of Washington State, there were 10,967 dental assistants employed statewide. This number is projected to rise to around 13,377 respectively by 2025. That equates to an annual growth rate of 2.19%. [You can find information on Dental Hygiene schools here.]

Requirements

All dental assistants must be registered to work in by the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC).

To become a Registered Dental Assistant, aside from completing the required forms and paying a fee, you must complete seven hours of AIDS education and hold a current and valid health care provider basic life support (BLS) certification. Registration must be renewed annually.

Registered Dental Assistants can be qualified in sealant/fluoride varnish solely for the purpose of treating children in school-based programs. Such a qualification requires 200 hours of work experience incorporating training – clinical and didactic – in sealants and fluoride varnish treatments, verified by the licensed doctor who provided the training, and have graduated from a CODA-accredited assisting, hygiene or dental program, or other continuing education or in-house training with a Washington-licensed dentist.

Registered Dental Assistants may also monitor patients receiving deep sedation or general anesthesia if they have received a minimum of 14 hours of documented training in a specifically designed course which includes instruction and practical experience in the use of appropriate equipment.

An Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) in Washington is a person who has either graduated from a CODA-accredited assisting program or is DANB CDA certified, and has completed an EFDA course approved by the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC), passed the Washington State Restorative Exam (WARE) administered by DANB, passed a clinical exam administered by the Western Regional Examining Board, and complete completion of seven hours of AIDS education.

A Dental Anesthesia Assistant is a person who has passed the Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination (DAANCE) provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CALAOMS)’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Assistants Course, or equivalent, complete training in intravenous access or phlebotomy, hold a current and valid certification for health care provider basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), or pediatric advanced life support (PALS), and complete seven hours of AIDS education and training.

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Popular Programs

Dental Assistant Salaries by Area

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ 2016 data, Dental Assistants in the state of Washington could expect to earn an average of $40,530 annually or $19.49 per hour, but salaries can go as high as $52,690. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area has the largest concentration of jobs for dental assistants.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA220$19.83$41,250
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA430$20.51$42,660
Kennewick-Richland, WA330$20.21$42,040
Lewiston, ID-WA70$18.51$38,490
Longview, WA130$19.22$39,970
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA**$19.43$40,420
Olympia-Tumwater, WA460$20.73$43,120
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA3,560$20.54$42,720
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA5,940$19.66$40,880
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA650$18.95$39,420
Walla Walla, WA70$16.67$34,680
Wenatchee, WA130$20.02$41,640
Yakima, WA410$17.48$36,360

Well-Known Schools

There are 16 dental assisting schools in Georgia that are recognized by the US Department of Education. As such, students may be eligible for federal financial aid. Of these, only 8 have accreditation from the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). 10 schools are public and the rest private. For reviews of schools, search online for alumni opinions.

Seattle, WA

Institute of Advanced Dental Assisting (IADA) has a 13-week dental assisting program at their campus at 4337 15th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108 (206-762-1551). The program consists of 78 hours of lectures and lab, and 50 hours of internship with a practicing dentist. The fee comes to $8,500 and includes tuition, books, art and other supplies, use of lab, online supplemental study help, CPR certificate, and certificate of course completion. All you need for the application process is high school diploma or GED and a school transcript. IADA is also a full-service dental clinic with a licensed dentist and hygienist.

Takoma, WA

North West Dental Assisting School of Berkshire College has an accelerated curriculum that is approved and licensed by the State of Washington. It runs over 10 weeks and costs a discounted $2,995 (regular cost is $3,995). Specific start and end dates vary, although they have four quarters throughout the year, with classes held every Friday or Saturday, at the student’s preference. Berkshire College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. To apply, you will not need to participate in an entrance exam. Instead, you will be required to demonstrate that you have a reasonable understanding of the English language. For more information, call them at 253-273-8665.

Kenmore, WA

Dental Assistant Training Center, with a campus at 5701 NE Bothell Way #2, Kenmore, WA 98028, (425-806-8816), has a dental assisting program that runs for 11 consecutive weeks, 8 classroom hours per week (for a total of 88 hours of classroom instruction), plus 6 hours a week of home study. The course includes hand-on training using mannequins, each other, and actual patients. It starts 4 times a year (January, April, July, and November), and it costs $3,895, with a minimum of $1595 required prior to the start of classes to secure your place. The course fee is meant to cover all expenses, although it would be helpful to check with the school prior to making a commitment.

Other schools in WA

Northshore Dental Assisting Academy, LLC has a dental assisting program at their campus at 6610 NE 181st St, Kenmore, WA 98028 (425-408-9400). The program covers 187 hours of instruction over a course of 22 Fridays or Saturdays and costs $6,000. River City School of Dental Assisting, at 2723 Chapman Road, Greenacres, WA 99016 (509-768-8188) offers a 10-week dental assisting program at a cost of $2,850, including tuition, books and supplies.

Dental Assisting

Bremerton-Silverdale, WA

Everest College-Bremerton

155 Washington Ave. Ste. 200, Bremerton, Washington 98337
(360) 473-1120
http://www.everest.edu/campus/bremerton/program/dental-assistant

The Certificate program at Everest College is taught at their Bremerton campus. This private, for-profit college has approximately 332 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 80%. Fees at the college are approximately $11,736 per year. Tuition for students from outside Washington is $11,736.

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, Washington 98034-8506
(425) 739-8100
http://www.lwtech.edu/academics/programs_of_study/dental_assistant.html

Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s diploma program is offered at their campus in Kirkland in King County, WA. The program is accredited by the ADA. The college has approximately 3,782 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $3,907 per year, while the fees for students from other states are $9,096.

Pima Medical Institute-Seattle

9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, Washington 98115
(206) 322-6100
http://pmi.edu/Programs/Certificate/Dental-Assistant

Pima Medical Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Seattle, WA. The majority of the school’s 733 students are on 2-year programs. The dental assistant program has annual tuition fees of $12,190 and material costs of $714. The average completion time for the program is 8 months.

Renton Technical College

3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, Washington 98056-4123
(425) 235-2352
http://www.rtc.edu/programs/trainingprograms/dentalassistant/

The Certificate program at Renton Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of Renton. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has about 3,312 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Fees at this school are about $4,720 per year. Fees for students from other states are $4,720.

Seattle Vocational Institute

2120 S Jackson, Seattle, Washington 98144-2219
(206) 934-4950
http://sviweb.sccd.ctc.edu/p_ah_dent-as.htm

Seattle Vocational Institute’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Seattle, WA. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association. This public college has approximately 317 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years.Tuition fees at this college are approximately $3,794 per year, while fees for out-of-state students are $3,794.

Bates Technical College

1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, Washington 98405
(253) 680-7000
http://www.bates.ctc.edu/dentalassisting

Bates Technical College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Tacoma, WA. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association. The college has about 4,158 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this college are about $5,151 per year. Fees for students from other states are $5,151.

Bates Technical College

1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, Washington 98405
(253) 680-7000
http://www.bates.ctc.edu/dentalassisting

The Associate’s program at Bates Technical College is taught at their Tacoma campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This public college has approximately 4,158 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Fees at this school are approximately $5,151 per year. The fees for out-of-state students are $5,151.

Clover Park Technical College

4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499-4004
(253) 589-5800
http://cptc.edu/programs/dental/dental-assistant-cert

The Certificate program at Clover Park Technical College is taught at their Lakewood campus. The program is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 3,666 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $4,451 per year. The fees for out-of-state students are $9,611.

Clover Park Technical College

4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499-4004
(253) 589-5800
http://cptc.edu/programs/dental/dental-assistant-degree

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Lakewood campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The majority of the school’s 3,666 students are on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $4,451 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $9,611.

Everest College-Tacoma

2156 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402-3004
(253) 207-4000
http://www.everest.edu/campus/tacoma/program/dental-assistant

Everest College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Tacoma, WA. Most of the school’s 1,001 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at the college are approximately $11,736 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Washington are $11,736.

Everest College-Everett

906 SE Everett Mall Parkway, 6th Floor, Everett, Washington 98208
(425) 789-7960
http://www.everest.edu/campus/everett/program/dental-assistant

Everest College’s diploma program is offered at their campus in the city of Everett, WA. The majority of the school’s 536 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees at this school are approximately $11,736 per year. Tuition for students from other states is $11,736.

Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA

Spokane Community College

1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, Washington 99217-5399
(509) 533-8020
http://www.scc.spokane.edu/HealthSciences/AlliedHealth/DentalAsst.aspx?page=PV1

The Associate’s program at Spokane Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Spokane. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The college has around 6,961 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $3,489 per year. Tuition for students from outside Washington is $8,680.

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