Becoming a dental assistant in Arkansas is growing in popularity every year across the country and the state of Arkansas according to the bureau of labor statistics. In our article below we cover what it will take get started in the process towards certification as a dental assistant in Arkansas.

What do dental assistants do in Arkansas?

Generally speaking, dental assistants in Arkansas take care of a wide range of everyday customer service and patient care responsibilities for the dentist. The typical responsibilities performed by the majority of dental assistants are listed here.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Arkansas

The process to become a dental assistant in Arkansas may be summarized in the next four steps.

Step 1 – Complete your high school diploma or GED

The first step towards any occupation you pursue should always be getting a high school diploma. Finding a job in the medical field is no different. Even in the few cases where it’s possible to find employment without finishing high school, the positions usually do not offer much in the way of compensation or chances for advancement.

Step 2: Sign-up for a CODA-approved training course in Arkansas

If you have decided to pursue your professional certification, the next thing is to register for a dental assistant training program in Arkansas that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dental assisting courses around the nation are governed by the CODA, who works to standardize training in the industry all-around the country. Considering that only trainees who complete a program in AR accredited by the CODA are immediately entitled to challenge one of the national certification exams, it’s essential that you complete a training program in AR that is approved by this body.

Arkansas Dental Assisting Programs that are Approved by CODA

Dental Assisting – Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas
Arkansas Northeastern College
P O Box 1109
Blytheville
72316-1109
870-780-1210
Program Director: Ms. Lisa Childers
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2011
Next Accreditation Visit: 2018

Dental Assisting – University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
Arkansas
University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
3000 W. Scenic Drive
North Little Rock
72118
(501) 812-2236
Program Director: Ms. DeAnna Davis
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Hygiene – Univ. of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Health Sciences
Arkansas
Univ. of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Health Sciences
P.O. Box 3649
5210 Grand Avenue
Fort Smith
72901-3649
479-788-7272
www.health.uafs.edu/programs/dental-hygiene
Program Director: Ms. Charmaine Stuteville
Discipline Code: DH
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2015
Next Accreditation Visit: 2022

Dental Hygiene – Univ. of Arkansas, College of Health Professions
Arkansas
Univ. of Arkansas, College of Health Professions
4301 West Markham Street – Slot #609
Little Rock
72205
501-686-6867
www.dentaleducation.uams.edu/residency
Program Director: Ms. Claire Tucker
Discipline Code: DH
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Step 3: Complete course and required internship hours

After finding an approved program that meets your goals, the next thing is to complete it. Even though every program is somewhat different, it’s quite common for students to complete their academic training and internship in just 12 months.

The academic segment of your studies will most likely cover all of the principles and procedural-type material that will be found in the certification test. The externship, however, will present you with the opportunity to put everything you learn into use in a live, professional environment.

Step 4: Pass one of the national certification examinations

There are two highly-popular dental assistant certification tests – the NELDA and CDA. Becoming eligible to sit for either of these assessments requires you to initially graduate from a CODA-accredited course. A passing mark on either test will give you the title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Both of these examinations are explained in more depth here.

What is the typical dental assistant salary in Arkansas?

The following data reflects that dental assistant salary in Arkansas may vary based on which city you work in. The data comes from bls.gov.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
ArkansasHourly$10.49$15.26$21.51
Yearly$21,820 $31,740 $44,730
Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSAHourly$12.03$17.82$24.92
Yearly$25,010 $37,070 $51,840
Fort Smith, AR-OK MSAHourly$12.15$16.72$21.73
Yearly$25,270 $34,780 $45,200
Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR MSAHourly$11.64$16.62$19.00
Yearly$24,200 $34,580 $39,520
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO MSAHourly$10.37$16.36$22.95
Yearly$21,580 $34,030 $47,730
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR MSAHourly$10.85$15.35$20.39
Yearly$22,570 $31,920 $42,420
East Arkansas BOSHourly$10.19$15.33$21.88
Yearly$21,190 $31,880 $45,520
Jonesboro, AR MSAHourly$12.40$15.23$20.83
Yearly$25,790 $31,670 $43,330
Hot Springs, AR MSAHourly$12.37$14.87$18.22
Yearly$25,730 $30,940 $37,900
South Arkansas BOSHourly$9.87$13.86$21.24
Yearly$20,520 $28,820 $44,180
West Arkansas BOSHourly$10.10$13.53$23.31
Yearly$21,010 $28,150 $48,490
Pine Bluff, AR MSAHourly$9.11$13.43$20.99
Yearly$18,950 $27,930 $43,650
Central Arkansas BOSHourly$10.11$12.24$19.05
Yearly$21,030 $25,450 $39,630