When many people are looking for a job or looking at a career change they find themselves in that most uncomfortable and bleak spot – between a very solid rock and a very hard wall! It seems that technology has made many entry level or unskilled, untrained jobs obsolete. Good paying, stable, always in demand jobs are very difficult to find. Interviews seem to always end with “you need some experience to get the job, and you need a job to get the experience” – the proverbial “Catch 22”. What can you do? Here are my Top 3 Things you should look at when considering a new career:
Many schools and training programs have been doing the same thing year after year. They may not be keeping up with the latest technology in the career field you are thinking about. Are there more opportunities for work because the field is expanded? Are more jobs being made available monthly? Yearly? Are the opportunities available where you live or want to live? This information is very important as you do not want to spend time, effort and money learning a skill that is not as much in demand now or is not predicted to be needed in the future.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 31% from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. So dental assisting will be a very lucrative and in-demand job for many years in the future. We know the health field has been at the top of growth for jobs for a few years but dental assisting is soaring! This is an incredible opportunity for you – join the ranks of one of the fastest growing professions in the US! With the annual growth rate of 0.9% for the US population, families are having more children! That is great news for us in the US as family growth fuels the US economy but even more important...more kids means more need for pediatric dental assistants! They will be in even more demand. You can be a member of one of the top growth industries – and you can have fun every day in your new career!
It is important that you know what you want in a career – what your dream days will look like -- then find a job that best fits these. Dental assistants make an average of $16 per hour nationally. Experienced Pediatric Dental Assistant wages are usually in the $18-20 per hour and even more for a very well trained assistant. Most dental assistants work full time. However, according to the US Bureau of Statistics, almost 2 in 5 assistants worked part time in 2010, so there is great flexibility in dental assistant opportunities. Another thing to consider is where this position will take you over your career lifetime.
Do you need stability or flexibility? Do you need employee benefits? Do you need or want opportunities to improve your abilities so that you can increase your wages or opportunities for advancement? Do you want to telecommute on some days? Do you like variety in the job? Do you like change or hate it?
Nobody wants to be faced with doing the same thing over and over for the rest of their lives. This is another great reason that becoming a dental assistant is very popular these days. This is even more evident in a pediatric dental office as every child patient is different – keeping the job very interesting. People who become very good at their duties will find that they will get extra duties that end up increasing their overall wage. The more you know the more valuable you are to the office. Dental offices are very stable with set office hours - some offices work evenings and weekends, offering employees a great deal of flexibility.
Will the school that provides the training/skills that you need for this job also help find you a position? Is the school or director well respected? Who does the teaching? Is the Doctor / owner ever present? Are there requirements/ responsibilities for the students? If the school includes online training do you have access to the training? What is the student/teacher ratio? Does the school offer hands - on training? Is the training a comprehensive or a more entry-level experience? Do you have access to talk to previous graduates or employers of recent graduates?
Many dental assistant positions are offered as on-the-job training opportunities, which help those who are untrained get experience and knowledge. This can take a long time and your salary will stay at the low entry-level amount until enough clinical experience is gained to warrant a wage increase. Most dentists prefer more experienced assistants who have completed a dental-assisting course. It’s recommended that you have some kind of training as that will add to your resume and increase your salary potential. The training and certification from a reputable program is perhaps the most important thing a dentist considers when hiring. Completing a program where the director understands what the employer / Doctor wants in a well-trained assistant definitely increases the job opportunities. Training programs that emphasize a more hands-on training, working in small groups provides a greater amount of clinical experience. You actually learn a great deal more by doing than watching someone demonstrate what to do, or just being lectured about it, or even just watching a video. In-depth, extensive clinical training greatly improves your job opportunities. With a 93% job placement rate, it is obvious that others respect the training you will receive at the Pediatric Dental Assistant School. There are no guarantees in life but with the externship and our training you will be ahead of other job candidates. Training programs that are located in a working dental office also increase the learning experience. Having a low instructor-to-student ratio is key to having a phenomenal experience with some intensive learning going on. We provide this intensive training in pediatric dental assisting. Join us and experience what dental assistant training should be!