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Becoming a dental assistant in Iowa is looking better and better every year! We show you why and how to get started below in our free resource. We cover the pathway to certification as a dental assistant in Iowa for you!

What do dental assistant in Iowa do?

Dental assistants in Iowa work under the supervision of a dentist, and are given the task of carrying out a range of support tasks that assist in keeping the office operating smoothly. Though some managers can require even further responsibilities, the following checklist here illustrates the principal function of the majority of dental assistants.

What is the process to become a dental assistant in Iowa?

The four-step process for becoming a dental assistant in Iowa is displayed below.

Step 1 – Graduate from high school or earn your G.E.D.

Earning your high school diploma is a basic foundation to becoming employed in any professional position. Working in the healthcare field is no different. There are some positions in the field that may be held without a high school diploma, but they usually offer little room for advancement.

When looking for a dental assistant certification program, you can expect to find that almost all schools require students to hold a diploma or G.E.D. prior to enrollment. So, whatever your ultimate professional career goals, be sure that you finish this first step.

Step 2: Register for courses in Iowa approved by CODA

If you have decided to earn your certification, the next step is to enroll in a dental assistant training program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation otherwise known as (CODA). The CODA is a nationally-recognized body that coordinates dental assisting training around the nation. It is absolutely vital that you graduate from a Iowa training program accredited by the CODA, given that only those students who have finished an approved training program in IA are permitted to sit for one of the national certification exams.

Iowa Dental Assisting Programs Approved by CODA

Dental Assisting – Des Moines Area Community College
Iowa
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 S. Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny
50021-3993
515.964.6309
www.dmacc.edu
Program Director: Ms. Lori M Brown
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Scott Community College
Iowa
Scott Community College
500 Belmont Road
Bettendorf
52722-5649
563-441-4259
www.eicc.edu
Program Director: Ms. Barb Perkins Nichol
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2013
Next Accreditation Visit: 2020

Dental Assisting – Kirkwood Community College
Iowa
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW-Rm 221 Linn Hall
Cedar Rapids
52406
319-398-5560
www.kirkwood.edu/dentalhygiene
Program Director: Ms. Kristee Malmberg
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Iowa Western Community College
Iowa
Iowa Western Community College
2700 College Rd – Box 4C
Council Bluffs
51502-3004
712-325-3469
www.iwcc.edu/Academic_Programs/program.asp?id=denthygaas
Program Director: Ms. Sarah Stream
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval with Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Vatterott College, Des Moines Campus
Iowa
Vatterott College, Des Moines Campus
7000 Fleur Drive
Des Moines
50321
(515) 309-9000
Program Director: Ms. Barbara Besel-Votrain
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Discontinued
Last Accreditation Visit: 2015

Dental Assisting – Marshalltown Community College
Iowa
Marshalltown Community College
3700 South Center Street
Marshalltown
50158
641-844-5794
mcc.iavalley.edu/academic/health-occupations/dental-assisting/
Program Director: Ms. Tamara Lynn Damman
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Indian Hills Community College
Iowa
Indian Hills Community College
Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Avenue
Ottumwa
52501
(641) 683-5298
Program Director: Ms. Carol Sexton-White
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Northeast Iowa Community College
Iowa
Northeast Iowa Community College
10250 Sundown Road
Peosta
52068
563-556-5110 x:227
Program Director: Ms. Dawn Klostermann
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2013
Next Accreditation Visit: 2020

Dental Assisting – Western Iowa Tech Community College
Iowa
Western Iowa Tech Community College
P.O.Box 5199, 4647 Stone Ave
Sioux City
51102
712-274-8733 x 3240
Program Director: Ms. Joni Miller
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2016
Next Accreditation Visit: 2023

Dental Assisting – Hawkeye Community College
Iowa
Hawkeye Community College
1501 E Orange Rd, Box 8015
Waterloo
50704
319-296-2320×4302
www.hawkeyecollege.edu/academics/programs/health/dental-hygiene/courses.aspx
Program Director: Ms. Emily Boge
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2015
Next Accreditation Visit: 2022

Step 3: Finish the program and complete the required internship hours

The third step will be to finish the accredited program in Iowa you’ve selected. The classroom and internship sections of the typical program can often be completed in 12 months or less.

The classroom section of your studies will most likely incorporate all of the principles and procedural-type stuff that is included in the certification test. The externship, however, will give you the opportunity to put the things you learn into use in a functioning, professional environment.

Step 4: Successfully pass either the NELDA or CDA test

There are two highly-popular dental assistant certification tests – the NELDA and CDA. Once you’ve completed a CODA-approved course, you’ll be able to challenge either of them. A passing grade on either test will award you the title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

We take a deeper look at these exams here.

How much does a dental assistant make in Iowa?

The data below features the most recent numbers on dental assistant salary offered in Iowa. All data come directly from the latest statistics on the bls.gov website.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
IowaHourly$14.30$18.96$24.72
Yearly$29,740 $39,440 $51,410
Ames, IA MSAHourly$16.90$21.65$26.44
Yearly$35,140 $45,020 $54,990
Cedar Rapids, IA MSAHourly$16.44$21.61$28.63
Yearly$34,190 $44,950 $59,540
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA MSAHourly$16.08$21.35$27.23
Yearly$33,440 $44,420 $56,650
Northeast Iowa BOSHourly$14.31$20.34$24.17
Yearly$29,770 $42,310 $50,280
Iowa City, IA MSAHourly$14.80$18.48$25.21
Yearly$30,770 $38,440 $52,430
Northwest Iowa BOSHourly$15.60$18.47$23.21
Yearly$32,440 $38,420 $48,280
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSAHourly$15.15$18.14$23.24
Yearly$31,500 $37,720 $48,350
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$13.53$17.58$23.48
Yearly$28,140 $36,570 $48,840
Southeast Iowa BOSHourly$13.16$17.13$23.66
Yearly$27,360 $35,630 $49,220
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$12.95$17.11$22.48
Yearly$26,930 $35,590 $46,760
Dubuque, IA MSAHourly$11.95$16.88$20.23
Yearly$24,850 $35,100 $42,080
Southwest Iowa BOSHourly$10.55$16.64$23.60
Yearly$21,940 $34,610 $49,100
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSAHourly$12.50$16.25$20.56
Yearly$26,000 $33,800 $42,760