Saturday, April 20, 2024

Best and Worst States for Dental Assistant Pay

There were nearly 370,700 dental assistants at work in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to data released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The vast majority of dental assistants work in dental offices, but small numbers may be found working with employment agencies, physician offices, and outpatient care centers. While dental assistants must possess some technical understanding, their duties are generally administrative in nature and do not require the kind of advanced skills or training required in many other healthcare occupations. Dental assistants, on average, earn lower salaries than workers in most other occupations. As of May 2023, the BLS estimated that the national mean wage for dental assistants was $47,350 per year.  Pay for the profession varies considerably from state to state, with dental assistants in some states making significantly more than what their professional peers made elsewhere.  Based on annual mean wage levels, May 2023 BLS data indicated that these were the best and worst states for dental assistant pay:

The Best and Worst States for Dental Assistant Pay

Best Paying States
Minnesota $62,760
Massachusetts $56,810
Oregon $55,960
District of Columbia $55,100
New Hampshire $54,190
Washington $54,190
North Dakota $54,010
Vermont $53,860
Alaska $53,020
California $52,470

Worst Paying States
Kansas $41,140
Kentucky $41,090
New Mexico $40,530
Arkansas $40,440
Idaho $40,200
West Virginia $39,890
Utah $39,350
Louisiana $38,290
Mississippi $37,610
Alabama $37,440

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on April 15, 2024