By Angie Hallmark, RDA

Call me biased, but I do believe that a career as a professional Dental Assistant makes for a pretty darn good life. The source of my bias is that I’ve been a Dental Assistant now for more than 30 years. Recently, I spent a few moments reflecting on why a career in Dental Assisting – especially in Dallas – is so rewarding. Here are a few of the items that showed up on my list.

  1. Flexible hours. Throughout my career, the one constant has been flexibility with my schedule. Rarely have I been in jobs that require any weekend time. In addition, there are so many options available I feel like I’ve been able to pick and choose whatever might be the best fit for me at a particular point in my life. Part time, full time or temporary work all have been options. Today, I work Monday part time, then Tuesday through Thursday full time and then on Friday’s I serve as lead instructor for the Dental Assisting School (which I love).
  2. Decent pay. My experience in Dallas is that most Dental Assistants start out at an hourly wage and are usually eligible for bonuses. In the end, it’s really a pretty good paycheck – especially when you consider the flexibility and the nature of the work.
  3. Everyone has teeth. From what I have seen, the market for Dental Assistants continues to thrive. A large part of this, I believe, is due to the fact that we are serving a patient population where essentially every person needs dental care. Projected growth in this industry is expected to increase by 36% through 2018 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means there should be ample career opportunities with the right training.
  4. Variety. Trained and certified Dental Assistants have a lot of choices. Their training and certifications opens up job possibilities with various specialists (e.g., orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery) as well as various dental office coordinator positions.
  5. It’s a people business. At the end of the day, being a Dental Assistant is about helping people. I am truly amazed and humbled by the number of people I have met as a professional Dental Assistant. It is one aspect of the job I love more than any other.

So, when weighing all the factors about how to spend one’s career hours, I am indeed a bit biased toward a career in Dental Assisting. At least that bias has served me well.