Dental Assistant Programs in San DiegoDental assisting students at SD Mesa have two training choices. The shorter, less elaborate Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting track has a curriculum, which consists of 35 credits. The certificate track is split into the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters; students only need a year to complete the program. Upon completion the student is awarded a Certificate of Achievement, as well as a Certificate of Performance to operate dental x-ray equipment in the State of California. The other choice, the Associate of Science degree in Dental Assisting, requires twice the amount of time for completion; electives are added to the curriculum to bring the number of required credits to 60. After graduation, students can take the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) boards and the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination.
Salaries for Dental Aid/Assistant Schools in San DiegoThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes San Diego in an area the agency designates as San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, where dental care assistants made an annual mean salary of $37,480 in 2012. For the state, the annual median wage was $35,600 ($17.11 per hour) that same year, with the bottom 10 percent making $24,000 ($11.54 per hour) and top 10 percent making $52,200 ($25.12 per hour). In 2010, the BLS reported that there were 3,250 dental care assistants in the San Diego area — barely 1 percent of the total number of dental care assistants in the state. The BLS expects a 12 percent growth between 2010 and 2020 for California.
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