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What's Inside

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make? 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that dental assistants make a median annual income of $38,660 or $19 per hour. The lowest 10% of dental assistants earned less than $29,580 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $59,540.

Average Dental Assistant Salary (2022)

Do Dental Assistants Get Paid Well?

Dental Assistants are paid well compared to other health care support staff. The average salary, according to the BLS, for dental assistants is $38,660 per year, which is 29% more than the average salary for all health care professionals, $29,880 per year. Dental Assistants make 8% less than the average salary for all professions, $41,950.

Read More: A Guide to Hospital Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make Starting Out?

The BLS does not provide average compensation data for entry-level positions for dental assistants just starting out, but the bottom 25% of dental assistants earn $37,000 each year according to the BLS.

How Many Dental Assistants Are There In The United States?

In 2021, there were 330,200 dental assistants in the United States. The states employing the most dental assistants are California, Texas and Florida.

Where Can Dental Assistants Earn The Most?

Dental Assistants' salaries depend on location and work setting. The states where dental assistants can earn the most are Minnesota, Massachusetts and Alaska. According to the BLS, chiropractors earn the most in the following industries: state and local governments ($50,170), specialty ($48,210) and home health services ($47,930). The metropolitan areas with the highest pay for dental assistants are:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $ 55,150
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI - $ 55,020
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $ 54,590

Where to find dental assistant programs

How Much Do Dental Assistants Earn in Each State?

The table below compares dental assistant salaries across states and U.S. territories (Source: BLS Occupational Employment and Wages May 2020). You can also find data for the number of dental assistants in each state as well as the number of dental assistants per 1,000 jobs—a figure that can help you determine the job's popularity in a given location. Not all locations have employment statistics. 

Dental Assistant Salary
Location
Annual Salary
in location
Employment
In location
Employment per 1,000 jobs
Minnesota
$53,620
5110
1.887
Massachusetts
$51,150
6020
1.796
New Hampshire
$50,080
1150
1.851
Oregon
$48,240
4550
2.521
Alaska
$48,100
920
3.120
North Dakota
$47,500
770
1.922
Rhode Island
$46,540
730
1.642
Washington
$46,410
9390
2.938
Vermont
$45,880
290
1.023
Maine
$45,420
1100
1.909
Connecticut
$45,010
3070
1.993
North Carolina
$44,920
9260
2.160
New Jersey
$44,770
8020
2.121
Iowa
$44,500
3030
2.063
Virginia
$44,120
7850
2.120
Colorado
$44,080
8390
3.256
Maryland
$43,300
4850
1.924
California
$43,000
47140
2.869
New York
$42,510
14420
1.659
Arizona
$41,270
7710
2.719
Indiana
$40,880
5980
2.049
South Dakota
$40,460
840
2.032
Ohio
$40,390
9780
1.904
Florida
$40,320
20690
2.451
Pennsylvania
$40,050
9580
1.739
South Carolina
$40,040
4580
2.275
Illinois
$40,030
11390
2.023
Georgia
$39,960
8150
1.892
Wisconsin
$39,810
5840
2.156
Nebraska
$39,800
2080
2.210
Nevada
$39,620
2200
1.755
Kansas
$39,590
2800
2.099
Texas
$39,170
29950
2.475
Michigan
$39,120
6900
1.759
Delaware
$38,800
670
1.565
Missouri
$38,640
5480
2.035
Tennessee
$38,420
5240
1.804
Wyoming
$38,330
550
2.086
Oklahoma
$37,880
4010
2.568
Kentucky
$37,210
4100
2.301
Montana
$37,070
1420
3.113
Arkansas
$36,680
2610
2.214
Hawaii
$36,020
1580
2.753
New Mexico
$35,980
2460
3.133
District of Columbia
$35,680
480
0.704
Idaho
$35,460
2210
3.069
Utah
$34,500
5640
3.790
Guam
$33,950
180
2.828
Louisiana
$33,660
4610
2.560
Alabama
$32,070
3170
1.666
West Virginia
$31,730
1080
1.666
Virgin Islands
$31,180
70
1.933
Mississippi
$30,310
2280
2.119
Puerto Rico
$18,450
2130
2.603