The number of dental assistant jobs is projected to increase 25% in the U.S. during the ten-year period ending in 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are several reasons for this. One is that oral health is increasingly being linked to good overall physical health. Another is that the aging baby boomers are keeping more of their teeth than previous generations and requiring a greater amount of dental care.
In 2013, 1,960 dental assistants were employed in Nebraska according to the state’s Department of Labor.
Nearly all of Nebraska’s dental assistants worked for ambulatory health care services in 2010:
- Ambulatory healthcare services 5%
- Educational employment 2%
- Hospital employment 1%
The median 2013 dental assistant salary in Nebraska was $32,167. Dental assistants entering the workforce averaged $25,789 while those with experience earned $36,340 on average.
More than 95% of these dental assistants worked in one of three Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) in Nebraska with 40.3% being located in the Omaha area. The Lincoln area had the highest salaries in all of the designated categories:
Dental assistants in nonmetropolitan areas of Nebraska had substantially lower median salaries than those in the metropolitan areas, according to the BLS. The highest median salary in a nonmetropolitan area was $31,530 – the northeastern Nebraska nonmetropolitan area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed breakdown of annual and hourly 2013 dental assisting salary percentiles in Nebraska: