5 Types of Dental Office Jobs: Duties, Salary, and Education

Would it surprise you to learn that there are nearly 197,000 dental businesses in the US?

The numbers are clear: There’s plenty of demand and opportunity in the world of dentistry. And don’t worry — you don’t have to go through years of medical school to enter this exciting field.

If you’re interested in healthcare or considering a career change, why not take a look at some popular dental office jobs? Here are five possible career paths to choose from.

1. Medical Receptionist

The easiest entry-level position for dental front office jobs is to work as a medical receptionist.

Receptionists handle basic clerical and administrative duties while ensuring patient confidentiality. They greet patients, answer phone calls and emails, and keep the office area and waiting room tidy. As the first point of contact for the business, they also need excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism.

The national average salary for medical receptionists is $16-$17/hour.

2. Dental Assistant

If you want a hands-on experience with patients with minimal schooling, you could become a dental assistant. You can complete your dental assistant training in as little as 12 months, making this an appealing option without a major time commitment.

Dental assistants work with the dentist to perform basic procedures such as fillings and extractions. They may also prepare and monitor patients during more complex procedures or oral surgeries. Dental assistants also need good communication skills, as they’ll be recording important patient information.

The national average salary for dental assistants is $23-$24/hour.

3. Dental Lab Technician

Are you precise and detail-oriented? Perhaps you could enter the world of dentistry by working as a lab technician.

Technicians handle the behind-the-scenes duties of a dental office or medical laboratory. They use software, 3D models, and machinery to produce crowns, dentures, and bridges. They also repair and adjust existing dental prostheses.

Entry-level positions start around $14/hour, but more experienced technicians can earn up to $20-$22/hour.

4. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists perform many of the same tasks as dental assistants, but they focus more on preventative care. Hygienists perform routine cleanings and identify potential problems, which they communicate to the dentist before he sees the patient.

Hygienists study between 2-4 years and need either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. They also need to pass a licensing exam to be able to get a job in their state. Starting salaries for dental hygienists are around $55,000/year.

5. Dental Office Manager

If you work as a receptionist for a while (or you have a business background), you may be a good fit for the role of dental office manager.

Office managers wear many hats and handle an array of duties, from coordinating patient care to training new staff to billing insurance companies. They write company policies and handle the HR side of the business, so they need excellent organization and communication skills.

The median dental office managers’ salary is $44,000/year, but those handling large practices can earn well over $100,000 annually.

Which Dental Office Jobs Will You Pursue?

If you’re looking for a career in healthcare, why not consider one of the dental front office jobs listed above? Review your options and then take a look at education options available in your locale!

Dental office jobs aren’t the only item on today’s docket. Keep browsing our site for more terrific advice about all things education.