The dental assistant in Nebraska is a beginning medical field worker who aids the dentist in various day-to-day duties in the office. Some assistants can become employed even if they are not certified, but this is becoming unusual because the vast majority of employers now prefer to hire only those applicants who have finished an accredited training program.

Thanks to unprecedented demand for new dental assistants in Nebraska, this career path is extremely desirable among individuals seeking an entry-level job in the medical field. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% growth in new positions for dental assistants by 2026.

What is a dental assistant?

In general, dental assistants in Nebraska handle a variety of daily customer support and patient care tasks for the dentist. The following link reflects the standard responsibilities that offices put on their assistants.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Nebraska

The four-step process for becoming a dental assistant in Nebraska is reflected below.

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

Earning your high school diploma is a basic foundation to finding work in any specialized position. Finding a career in the medical field is no different. And even in the few cases where it’s possible to find employment without finishing high school, the positions often don’t offer much in terms of salary or opportunities for growth.

Furthermore, the majority of dental assistant programs call for students to be high school graduates or G.E.D. holders as part of their admissions requirements. Take the time to finish this first basic step, and you will prevent a huge number of barriers during your career.

Step 2: Sign-up for classes approved by the CODA

The next step in becoming a certified dental assistant is to register for classes that are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dental assisting schools across the nation are regulated by the CODA, who works to standardize training in the industry all-around the country.

Why CODA accreditation is important

It’s simply essential that you graduate from a program accredited by the CODA, given that only students who have finished an approved training course are eligible to challenge one of the national certification exams.

Online dental assistant school

As is the case with the majority of online education options, online dental assistant schools are a preferred alternative for college students who are balancing several obligations. In cases where a college student does not live in close proximity to a school, these classes are also ideal.

To clear up a common misconception, while online courses enable students to complete their academic studies through distance learning, the clinical, internship part of their education must be completed at a physical location.

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

Completing the approved course you chose in the preceding step is your next objective. Though each program is somewhat different, it is very typical for trainees to complete their classroom education and internship in as little as 12 months.

A lot of training courses devote the classroom segment of their curriculum to the material that will probably be included in the national certification tests. With regards to the hands-on section of the course, this is when trainees get hands-on training in a functioning dental office setting.

Step 4: Successfully pass the NELDA or CDA examination

The NELDA and CDA are the two exams that award nationally-accepted dental assisting credentials. Once you’ve graduated from a CODA-approved program, you’ll be able to take either one of them. You will earn the national credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) by passing either exam.

Each of these tests are described in greater detail below.

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

The National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam (NELDA) is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and is a three-part examination. The NELDA consists of three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP) offered in a one-hour, 50-minute timed structure. Right after passing the exam, the pupil receives the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credential.

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

    • Finished a CODA-approved dental assistant program, or
    • Obtained comparable work experience as a dental assistant

CDA Exam

The CDA Exam is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and additionally grants the credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Test takers have one hour and 45 minutes to complete 60 multiple-choice questions.

In order to become eligible to sit for this exam, individuals need to meet the following requirements:

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

Dental assistant pay in Nebraska

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a dental assistant in the United States was $37,630 as of May 2017.

The following data exhibits the point that this range can differ according to which state you’re working in.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Southeastern Nebraska BOS
Lincoln, NE MSA
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSA
Northeastern Nebraska BOS
Central Nebraska BOS
Western Nebraska BOS