Begin Your Dental Assistant Career in Madison
Madison is an excellent place to start your dental assistant career. According to the U.S. News and World Report, this city is the 12th best place to live in the country. It’s home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, yet still has a small-town vibe.
Dental assistants in Madison find a more affordable cost of living than other major Midwest cities like Chicago. The landscape is beautiful with surrounding lakes and parks, making outdoor activities a regular part of life for residents. Madison’s charm and positive career outlook for dental assistants make it an appealing city for beginning your career.
Learning the Job
While Wisconsin doesn’t regulate dental assistants, it’s still a good idea to complete a training program before applying to jobs. Employers prefer to hire dental assistants who have completed sufficient coursework and understand how to complete the work. These are a couple dental assistant programs available to residents of Madison:
- Madison Area Technical College (MATC). On the Madison-Truax campus of MATC, students can earn a dental assistant technical diploma in 18 weeks or one semester. Classes are held Monday through Thursday during daytime hours. The total cost of the program is currently $2,147.
- Professional Institute of Dental Assisting (PIDA). Located south of Madison in Janesville, PIDA offers an eight-week dental assisting class, which takes place in a dental office setting. The course includes classroom instruction combined with clinical rotations. Class size is small, and classes are held on evenings and weekends. PIDA’s program is approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board. The total program cost is $3,595.
Why Madison is a Great Place for Dental Assistants
Madison is the second-highest paying city in Wisconsin for dental assistants. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Madison dental assistants earned a median income of $19.48 per hour. That same year, 680 dental assistants worked in Madison. That number will surely increase, since the Projections Managing Partnership predicts a 10 percent increase in Wisconsin dental assistant employment by 2026. That means there will be about 700 new job openings per year within the state.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Madison
People who live in Madison are known to “work hard, play hard,” so how will you spend your time when you’re not working? The city offers plenty of drinks and dining for a rich night life and plenty to do outdoors year-round. There are over 260 parks totaling more than 5,000 acres of land in the surrounding area and 11 beaches. Plan day trips to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Henry Vilas Zoo or the Wisconsin State Capitol. As you grow in your dental assisting career, make sure you enjoy the wonders of the city around you.