The Virginia Employment Commission has included dental assistants on their short list of high growth occupations that only require an associate’s degree, technical training or work experience.
In 2012, there were 8,455 dental assistants employed in Virginia. By 2022, this number is projected to make a considerable climb to 11,612. This employment change of 3,157 additional workers signifies an annual growth of 3.2% for the occupation.
In May 2012, the Virginia Employment Commission found that dental assistants’ salary earning potentials were partially linked to experience levels:
- Entry Level: $25,480/yr. or $12.25/hr.
- Median: $35,371/yr. or $17.00/hr.
- Experienced: $42,399/yr. or $20.38/hr.
Dental assistants are considered a healthcare support occupation. In October 2014, research by the Virginia Employment Commission found salary and wage offers by job openings for healthcare support occupations were as follows:
- Entry Level: $19,877/yr. or $9.56/hr.
- Median: $27,747/yr. or $13.34/hr.
- Experienced: $40,888/yr. or $19.66/hr.
Geographic placement of employment can alter dental assistant salary prospects. In 2012, the Virginia Employment Commission listed the five top paying metropolitan areas for dental assistants:
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria: $39,840/yr.
- Harrisonburg: $36,905/yr.
- Richmond: $36,570/yr.
- Charlottesville: $34,864/yr.
- Roanoke: $34,539/yr.
In the table displayed below, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more salary and wage statistics for dental assistants across regional districts as of 2013: