In the dental profession, it is important to always be looking to grow and better yourself. The benefits of taking on more responsibilities and continuing education courses are getting paid more. Here are 5 ways a dental assistant can help increase their pay rate from Columbus Academy of Dental Assisting.
1. Become State Board Certified
We can’t say it or stress it enough. Your first step to making more money as a dental assistant is to become certified. This is showing your dentist how committed you are to the profession and that you have what it takes to be a well-rounded assistant. Whether it’s the state or national board, get signed up and take it!
2. Take Continuing Education Courses
Once you are state board certified, start getting registered for courses so you can do more independently chairside. This includes coronal polishing, sealants, and monitoring nitrous oxide. Sealants even make production in the office! This is a big deal for dental assistants and a huge advantage if you work in a pediatric office. Even a general dental office sees a decent amount of kids where this can come in handy. Tell your doctor what you are interested in, and sometimes they will even help pay for the courses.
3. Volunteer to Take on More Responsibilities
Does your office already have an OSHA coordinator assigned? There are many rules and regulations that OSHA requires for the health and safety of employees. This includes heets that are required to be signed by each employee saying they received annual training in multiple aspects of the practice. Someone has to be in charge of it, and it’s usually a dental assistant. It’s no one’s favorite job but it has to be done, and it’s not a ton of work so step up and volunteer, take on that responsibility and show that you are willing to do more.
4. Ordering Supplies
This kind of goes along with #3. If you volunteer to order the supplies for the office, I can almost guarantee you will get a raise. If not, it may be time to go somewhere else. This is a HUGE responsibility but is so extremely important to have a smooth day to day operation. It’s also nice to know you won’t be running out of anything if you are in charge. If you do, you know it won’t happen again because trust me, it is not fun when you run out of any supplies before your new order comes in. It’s hard to work without air/water syringe tips when you need them for every patient or gauze for instance.
5. Demonstrate Your Value
Don’t be shy when it comes to asking for a raise. If you build great rapport with the patients, show up to work on time every day, get along with other team members, and shoot out good ideas during team meetings, then it’s time. Higher pay comes with experience and credentials as well, but you still must sell yourself. Brag about your hard work you have put in. If you are not confident, they will see it.
It is important to feel valued where you work. You want to feel appreciated and know that you are doing a good job. Never be afraid to ask. Research shows less than 10% of salary increase requests were denied. Your chances are looking good so prepare your case, feel confident and go for it!