By Angie Hallmark, RDA
Call me biased, but I do believe that a career as a professional Dental Assistant makes for a pretty darn good life. The source of my bias is that I’ve been a Dental Assistant now for more than 30 years. Recently, I spent a few moments reflecting on why a career in Dental Assisting – especially in Dallas – is so rewarding. Here are a few of the items that showed up on my list.
- Flexible hours. Throughout my career, the one constant has been flexibility with my schedule. Rarely have I been in jobs that require any weekend time. In addition, there are so many options available I feel like I’ve been able to pick and choose whatever might be the best fit for me at a particular point in my life. Part time, full time or temporary work all have been options. Today, I work Monday part time, then Tuesday through Thursday full time and then on Friday’s I serve as lead instructor for the Dental Assisting School (which I love).
- Decent pay. My experience in Dallas is that most Dental Assistants start out at an hourly wage and are usually eligible for bonuses. In the end, it’s really a pretty good paycheck – especially when you consider the flexibility and the nature of the work.
- Everyone has teeth. From what I have seen, the market for Dental Assistants continues to thrive. A large part of this, I believe, is due to the fact that we are serving a patient population where essentially every person needs dental care. Projected growth in this industry is expected to increase by 36% through 2018 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means there should be ample career opportunities with the right training.
- Variety. Trained and certified Dental Assistants have a lot of choices. Their training and certifications opens up job possibilities with various specialists (e.g., orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery) as well as various dental office coordinator positions.
- It’s a people business. At the end of the day, being a Dental Assistant is about helping people. I am truly amazed and humbled by the number of people I have met as a professional Dental Assistant. It is one aspect of the job I love more than any other.
So, when weighing all the factors about how to spend one’s career hours, I am indeed a bit biased toward a career in Dental Assisting. At least that bias has served me well.