The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that dental care assistants could experience an excellent employment boost in the next few years. If you’d like to become part of this demanding, yet satisfying, occupation, continue reading below.
Although dental assisting does not require a formal training program in Illinois, many individuals choose to enroll in a dental care assistant program. First and foremost, finding a school that’s accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) can ensure that you’re getting a high-quality education and that it’s making you eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc, certification examination and earn the Certified Dental Assistant credential. Certification, although voluntary, can really enhance job opportunities and earning potential. There are six accredited dental care assistant programs in Illinois, according to the ADA.
Dental Assistant Education in Illinois
Illinois does not have any specific educational requirements for its dental care assistants. Unlike in many other states, dental care assistants in Illinois can perform x-ray procedures with dental x-ray equipment without completing training. However, completing an ADA-accredited dental program can prove beneficial when applying for a dental care assistant position. Dental care assistant programs may result in associate degrees but are typically certificate programs.
As a student in a dental assisting training program, you’ll complete medical courses, take laboratory classes and will complete chair-side training where you’ll get real experience assisting a dentist. Dental care assistant programs often have a competitive admissions policy and require completion of specific admission requirements and prerequisites.
Salaries for Dental Aid/Assistants in Illinois
According to the BLS, dental care assistants earned a mean annual wage of $32,890 as of May 2012. Despite the fact that Illinois has the nation’s 5th highest employment level in this occupation, dental care assistant wages in Illinois were below the national average of $35,080.
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