Recently the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment evaluated occupational outlooks for professions requiring only a certificate or associate’s degree-level education. Their findings showed dental assistants were among the top fifteen fastest-growing jobs within this educational category through 2022.
This optimistic outlook stems from the Department of Labor and Employment’s projection that the number of employed dental assistants in Colorado will increase from 6,107 in 2013 to an estimated 7,460 by 2023. This ten-year employment change depicts a 2% average annual growth for this occupation.
Pay Expectations for Dental Assistants in Colorado
In 2013, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported that dental assistants in the state earned an average annual salary of $37,652 and an average hourly wage of $18.10.
Employers prefer to hire dental assistants with at least some prior training or field experience. Therefore, employees with extensive work experience often earned a higher average salary of $43,056/yr. or $20.70/hr.
In contrast, dental assistants lacking sufficient experience were often placed in entry-level positions. As such, these employees typically received a lower average salary of $26,844/yr. or $12.91/hr.
Regional Pay Expectations for Dental Assistants in Colorado
Dental assistant salaries and wages in Colorado can vary across geographic locations within the state. For example, the Department of Labor and Employment found the following salary averages among several different metropolitan areas:
- Denver-Aurora: $40,556/yr.
- Greeley: $39,212/yr.
- Boulder-Longmont: $35,172/yr.
- Colorado Springs: $35,149/yr.
- Fort Collins-Loveland: $32,423/yr.
- Pueblo: $30,591/yr.
- Grand Junction: $30,406/yr.
For a more comprehensive look at pay variations for dental assistants in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan regions across Colorado, please refer to the chart featured below. These salary and wage findings were collected and analyzed under the guidance of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013: