Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Best and Worst States for Dental Assistant Pay

There were nearly 363,900 dental assistants working in the U.S. as of May 2022 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 in 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 2022, the BLS estimated that the national mean wage for dental assistants was $44,710 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.  As of May 2022, according to BLS data the ten states with the best annual mean salary for dental assistants were:

Minnesota $58,890
District of Columbia $52,820
Delaware $52,500
Alaska $52,430
Massachusetts $52,200
Oregon $51,990
Vermont $51,460
North Dakota $51,370
Washington $50,430
New Hampshire $50,220

At the other end of the spectrum, the bottom ten states for dental assistant pay were:

Hawaii $39,590
Texas $39,170
Kansas $39,000
Idaho $38,840
Alabama $37,720
West Virginia $37,510
Utah $37,080
Mississippi $36,960
Arkansas $36,570
Louisiana $36,180

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on April 26, 2023