Frequently Asked Questions

How much do dental assistants earn?

It depends on your location, experience, education, and credentials. On average, dental assistants earn $17.76 per hour. Dental assistants who hold DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification earn higher wages – $20.46 per hour.

Does education influence dental assistant salaries?

It appears so. DANB’s Salary Survey shows that dental assistants with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn anywhere from $2 to $6 more per hour than those who do not have higher education.

How much do Expanded Functions Dental Assistants earn?

Every state has different titles for dental assistants who perform expanded functions. Overall, DANB’s Salary Survey showed that dental assistants who hold an expanded functions credential, such as EFDA, RDAEF, EDDA, or DA II earn about $18 per hour, while dental assistants who hold CDA certification or CDA certification plus an expanded functions credential earn more than $20 per hour.

How can I become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant?

Each state has different job titles for expanded functions dental assistants and different requirements. To learn more about what’s allowed in your state, visit DANB’s Search-By-State Map.

Why should I earn DANB’s CDA certification?

There are many benefits to earning DANB’s CDA certification. In addition to earning a higher salary, DANB CDA certificants report many benefits, including more employment benefits, increased personal pride, higher confidence, and greater job satisfaction, just to name a few.

Where can I learn more about DANB certification?

The best place to start is by visiting DANB’s website. You can read more about the exams and certifications DANB offers and download an application packet. To get started, visit

How do I study for DANB exams?

There are many resources you can use to prepare for DANB exams and certification. Visit DANB’s Prepare for DANB Exams page to learn more. The DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate, offers online review courses and practice tests. Check out the product catalog.

To learn more about salaries of dental assistants across the country, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When looking at any salary survey, it’s important to remember that surveys present the average (mean) or middle value (median). Your own unique experience and background play a factor in what salary you can earn as a dental assistant.