CareerGPS

Dental Assistants
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Dental Assistants
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
3,163 3,643 480 15.18% 96 375 471 $19.73 $41,047 Postsecondary nondegree award
Description: Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Prepare patient, sterilize and disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, and assist dentist during dental procedures.
  • Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.
  • Record treatment information in patient records.
  • Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.
  • Provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentist.
  • Assist dentist in management of medical and dental emergencies.
  • Pour, trim, and polish study casts.
  • Instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs.
  • Make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts.
  • Clean and polish removable appliances.
  • Schedule appointments, prepare bills and receive payment for dental services, complete insurance forms, and maintain records, manually or using computer.
  • Order and monitor dental supplies and equipment inventory.

Knowledge

82%
Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
77%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
69%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

62%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
60%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
60%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
56%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
53%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
50%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
50%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
50%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Abilities

65%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
65%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
65%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
62%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
60%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
60%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
56%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
53%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
53%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
53%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
53%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
53%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
53%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
53%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
53%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
50%
Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Work Activities

83%
Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
73%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
73%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
72%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
66%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
63%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
63%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
63%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
62%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
62%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
62%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
59%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
58%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
58%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
57%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
57%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
55%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
54%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
52%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
51%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
51%
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
51%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
50%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
50%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Styles

Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.