Becoming a dental assistant is an exciting and fulfilling career. As a dental assistant, you will not only assist dentists, but work closely with patients. It is a career that has potential for growth, but requires training and planning.
Sources of Employment
You may find openings for dental assistant positions due to a number of reasons. The most common are:
- High turnover rate
- A need to replace dental assistants that were promoted or went back to school for further training
- Positions opened due to dental assistants retiring
- A new office opened, looking for a great team
Before you seek available positions, you need to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. The following tips will allow you to find a dental assistant position.
How to Find a Dental Assistant Job
First, you need to decide if a career as a dental assistant is right for you. You will need to be efficient in terms of multi-tasking. You will also need to thrive around people, as this is most certainly a career that requires you to be a ’people-person.’
Once you decide that this is the career for you, look into what it is you need in order to reach your goal. You will need to look into the requirements for your country (or even state), as these requirements will differ.
Regarding education, you can generally enter a dental assistant program at your local college. This program will typically be one year, focusing on clinical training, time in the classroom, and time spent in the laboratory.
Although some regions will not require this education, you can obtain a higher salary when you become certified. In order to become certified in the USA, you will need to attend a school that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). These programs are known for their high standards in training.
2. Start Hunting
Once you are ready to hit the job market, you will need to prepare a solid CV. This will highlight your training, experience, and qualifications. What makes you right for the position? Make sure you attach a formal cover letter.
Start looking for available positions within your community or online. There are a number of great websites to find available positions. Some of the best websites to start are:
Once you make a list of dental offices in your area, approach each office. Represent yourself well, showing your enthusiasm. Leave a copy of your CV with whoever is in charge of hiring. If you do not hear anything after a few days, give them a call. This will show them that you’re serious and eager. This is especially true if they showed an interest in hiring you. Simply ask them if they have had time to review your CV.
While you were at school, there’s no doubt that you created a valuable network. Once you’re looking for a position, turn to former teachers and students. You may find leads through these individuals. They also may know dentist offices and provide you with a recommendation. This will set you apart from the others applying.
As you apply to various positions, you may also meet people along the way. Add these individuals to your network, as you never know what the future brings. The more contacts you build within this career (and any career), the better.
If you think that this career is right for you, start planning. If you’re already qualified, then get out there. No one will come knocking on your door, so you need to put the time and effort in. Utilize resources online and in real-life.
Take your CV to local offices. If an office hasn’t mentioned that they’re hiring, you should still introduce yourself. As mentioned, build up your network, as this is a great tool to have. From there, you can widen your search online, checking in with contacts and previously visited offices.
Finding a position as a dental assistant starts with you and your motivation. Keeping pushing, as determination goes a long way. With enough time and effort, you will land the position you’ve been searching for.