The dental assistant in Minnesota is a beginning medical worker who helps the dentist in various day-to-day functions around the office. Certification might not be required in all 50 states, but the recent trend among organizations has been towards only hiring people who hold a certification.

This job is a great one for those people who are starting their careers in the medical field, due to the increasing demand for their skills in Minnesota. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19% surge in new opportunities for dental assistants by 2026.

What is a dental assistant?

Dental assistants in Minnesota work under the guidance of a dentist, and are given the task of carrying out a variety of supporting tasks that help in keeping the office running efficiently. Although some facilities might require additional responsibilities, the link here shows the main role of most dental assistants.

How to become a dental assistant in Minnesota.

The four-step procedure for becoming a dental assistant in Minnesota is displayed below.

Step 1 – Complete high school or get your G.E.D.

The very first step towards a position you pursue should be getting your high school diploma. This is also the case with regards to most positions in healthcare. There are some positions in the field that may be held without completing a high school diploma, but they usually offer little room for advancement.

Where dental assistant training courses are concerned, you may also discover early on that the majority of authorized programs want students to provide proof of at least a G.E.D. before beginning classes. Put in the time to finish this first basic step, and you will prevent a huge number of road blocks over your career.

Step 2: Locate a program accredited by CODA and sign-up for training

The second step in becoming eligible to work as a certified dental assistant is to register for training courses that are approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). This organization coordinates program curricula and standards to make certain of consistent high quality in nationwide dental assisting schools.

What’s CODA accreditation?

Due to the fact that only trainees who complete a program accredited by the CODA are immediately entitled to challenge either of the national certification exams, it is crucial that you finish a program that is recognized by this body.

Dental assistant classes online

A popular alternative option to on-campus instruction, dental assistant classes online offer college students the versatility to go to class and finish their education per their own daily schedules. For students who do not live around a school that offers the classes they are looking for, online classes are also an appealing option.

Even though it’s quite possible to complete the academic part of a course online, it will nevertheless be necessary to complete the hands-on training section in-person at a specific site.

Step 3: Fulfill all requisite hands-on training hours and finish the program

The next step will be to graduate from the accredited course you’ve selected. Although each course is a little different, it is fairly typical for students to complete their academic training and internship in as little as one year.

The academic segment of your coursework will likely include all of the principles and procedural-type stuff that will be included in the certification examination. With regards to the hands-on section of the program, this is when pupils get hands-on training in a functioning dental office setting.

Step 4: Pass the NELDA or CDA Certification Exam

The NELDA and CDA are examinations that present nationally-recognized dental assisting credentials. Eligibility to challenge either of these examinations requires you to first graduate from a CODA-accredited training program. Students who pass either test receive the nationally-acknowledged title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Next is a quick description of both exams.

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

One of the primary nationwide tests is the National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam (NELDA), which is a three-part test recognized all through the nation. The one-hour, 50-minute examination is comprised of three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). After passing the exam, the individual earns the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification.

To become approved to sit for this test, a candidate needs to have either:

    • Finished a CODA-approved dental assistant program, or
    • Acquired comparable on-the-job experience as a dental assistant

CDA Exam

The CDA Exam is provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and additionally grants the credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Students get one hour and 45 minutes to complete 60 multiple-choice problems.

You have to have the ability to fulfill one of the following prerequisites before you can challenge the examination:

    • Graduated from a CODE-approved dental assistant course, or
    • Obtained equivalent on-the-job experience as a dental assistant

How much does a dental assistant make in Minnesota?

Dental assistant salary fluctuates based on several things, but the median pay was $37,630 in 2017 per the latest data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dental assistant pay in Minnesota may differ to some extent from the nationwide average, as is shown in the data table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSAHourly$17.56$22.92$29.95
Southeast Minnesota (BOS)Hourly$17.40$22.72$29.52
Rochester, MN MSAHourly$17.84$22.49$28.33
Mankato-North Mankato, MN MSAHourly$16.77$21.82$29.00
Northeast Minnesota (BOS)Hourly$18.32$21.71$25.05
Southwest Minnesota (BOS)Hourly$15.87$21.47$29.47
St. Cloud, MN MSAHourly$16.46$20.75$24.16
Duluth, MN-WI MSAHourly$15.84$20.10$25.54
Northwest Minnesota (BOS)Hourly$16.06$20.03$25.44
Grand Forks, ND-MN MSAHourly$16.08$19.75$25.88
Fargo, ND-MN MSAHourly$15.67$18.54$34.16
La Crosse, WI-MN MSAHourly$13.13$17.43$23.58