So, you have decided to become a dental assistant. This is a great career choice offering stability and plenty of opportunities, but before you can embark on this career path, you have to begin with finding an Atlanta dental assistant school.
You have a few different options in the city, but only one of these schools is backed by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Having CODA accreditation is essential if you really want a solid career in this field. Find out more about which school is the optimal choice and why you should consider it.
Why is CODA Accreditation Important?
Having CODA accreditation is not just something fancy a school can say. It actually carries a lot of weight. So much so that you cannot get your dental hygienist license if you do not attend a CODA-accredited Atlanta dental assistant school.
Accreditation is important because it shows the school meets high quality standards. The program material and what is taught is at acceptable levels that will produce students who can do a safe and accurate job once in the field. CODA is the only accrediting institution for dental programs, so without this accreditation, your education could be deemed useless once you try to find work.
The Only Accredited Atlanta Dental Assistant School
If you want to become a dental assistant and wish to attend school in Atlanta, then you have one option. The Atlanta Technical College offers the only CODA-accredited dental assistant program in the city.
Established in 1945 and also known as Atlanta Tech or ATC, the community technical college serves people in Fulton and Clayton counties. Atlanta Tech is part of the Technical College System of Georgia.
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Dental Assistant Schools in Atlanta
Atlanta Tech offers two tracks of dental care assistant training. Consisting of 330 hours of class time, you can complete the basic dental assisting certificate program in one semester. It consists of four courses:
- Introduction to Healthcare
- Microbiology and Infection Control
- Dental Biology
- Dental Assisting I: General Chairside
These courses add up to 16 credits.
The longer and more intense dental assisting diploma program has a curriculum of 56 credits, which you can complete in 1,260 contact hours. In addition to the above courses, this program also includes general education requirements in English, mathematics, and psychology. Additional core courses include:
- Introduction to Computers
- Preventative Dentistry
- Oral Pathology and Therapeutics
- Dental Practice Management
- Dental Assisting II: Dental Spec & EFDA
Also included are three units of the dental practicum course, which gives you hands-on experience in laboratories or clinics.
Dental Assistant Job Outlook
Before making your final decision on this career and on your Atlanta dental assistant school, it may help to learn a little more about the field and what it looks like for your future career path. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is fast job growth in the industry projected from 2016 to 2026. Employment should see a growth of about 19 percent.
When it comes to income, you should expect to earn a median income of about $39,000. Pay ranges in 2018 went from around $27,000 to $55,000. Those working for the government tended to earn the most, but dentist and physician offices also paid well.
Now that you know about the importance of CODA accreditation and that there is really only one choice in an Atlanta dental assistant school, you are ready to apply and start on your way to your new career. However, if you want to expand a little and look for additional schooling options, you may want to learn more about dental assisting programs statewide.