Career Information

Job Description

Dental Assistants are skilled members of the dental health team. An assistant may be credentialed as a licensed Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in California, which enables them to perform a variety of dental procedures for the patient under the supervision of a dentist. The RDA is highly recognized in California. The Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) is a national certification recognized by various states. Depending on their credential, dental assistants may work side by side with the dentist or perform direct patient care (specific dental procedures) or as an administrative assistant in the business office of a dental practice. Dental assistants may utilize technology such as digital radiography, CAD/CAM systems or dental software. Dental assistants may be employed in general dentistry, dental specialties such as dental surgical practices, orthodontic or pediatric dentistry. Opportunities for volunteer service are also available through local, state and national agencies.

Employment Outlook

The field offers excellent opportunities in various dental positions. Graduates of the dental assisting program may work in a dental office, clinic or military dental clinic as a chairside assistant or as an administrative assistant in the business office. Other opportunities include positions in a dental laboratory, dental public health agency, a dental supply company or dental education.

Salary Range

Starting level: $14.00 - $18.00 per hour. Increases with RDA credential (CA). Many offices/clinics offer benefits package.

For enrollment: Special Admission Clerk - Cathy Sullivan - cmsulliv@sdccd.edu or (619) 388 - 2684

For program information: Margaret Fickess, CDA, RDA, MEd, Program Director - mfickess@sdccd.edu or (619) 388-2697