The dental assisting profession is currently experiencing considerable growth in West Virginia. In fact, the West Virginia Department of Commerce has ranked dental assistants the 16th fastest growing occupations in the state through 2016.
In 2006, there were 1,359 dental assistants employed in West Virginia. By 2016, this occupation is expected to include 1,714 workers. As a result, a projected annual growth rate of 2.35% will effectively generate approximately 60 new job openings per year through 2016.
Dental assistants are classified under the major occupational group of healthcare support workers. Yet, in the 2nd Quarter of 2014, the WV Department of Commerce reported dental assistants were receiving higher earnings compared to the healthcare support occupation on average.
Average salaries and wages for the healthcare support occupation:
- Mean: $23,895/yr. or $11.49/hr.
- Entry Level: $16,994/yr. or $8.17/hr.
- Experienced: $27,345/yr. or $13.14/hr.
- Median: $21,818/yr. or $10.49/hr.
Average salaries and wages for dental assistants:
- Mean: $29,112/yr. or $13.99/hr.
- Entry Level: $22,626/yr. or $10.88/hr.
- Experienced: $32,355/yr. or $15.55/hr.
- Median: $28,606/yr. or $13.75/hr.
Average Salary and Wage Scales for Dental Assistants in WV
Dental assistant salary and wage percentiles in West Virginia attest to the profession’s earning flexibility. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, dental assistants fell into the following pay scales:
- 10th Percentile: $20,900/yr. or $10.05/hr.
- 25th Percentile: $24,100/yr. or $11.58/hr.
- Median Percentile: $28,300/yr. or $13.59/hr.
- 75th Percentile: $33,400/yr. or $16.08/hr.
- 90th Percentile: $37,600/yr. or $18.10/hr.
Geographic Salaries and Wages for Dental Assistants in WV
Dental assistants commonly adjust to pay variations between different locales. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed breakdown of dental assistant salary and wage earnings across West Virginia (2013):