Dental assistants in Nevada are entry-level health workers who help dentists with routine dental procedures and administrative tasks around the dentist’s office. A number of assistants can find work even if they aren’t certified, but it is becoming unusual as the majority of organizations now would prefer to hire only those candidates who have completed an accredited program.

This job is a good one for those who are starting their careers in the medical field, because of the increasing need for their abilities in Nevada. As a matter of fact, per the most current figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 19% growth in dental assisting positions through the next decade.

What is a dental assistant?

The basic duties of the dental assistant in Nevada focus on the tasks which help the office service its customers and provide basic dental care. Though many managers might require even further tasks, the following link shows the main function of most dental assistants.

How to become a dental assistant in Nevada.

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

Step 1 – Earn your high school diploma or GED

Regardless of the profession you choose to pursue, receiving a high school diploma should always be considered the initial step. The same is true with regards to the majority of positions in medicine and health. And even in the cases when it’s possible to find a position without your high school diploma, the positions usually don’t offer much in pay or opportunities for growth.

On top of that, the majority of dental assistant training programs require students to be high school graduates or G.E.D. holders as part of their admissions requirements. Put in the time to take this first step, and you’ll prevent a huge number of road blocks during your career.

Step 2: Register for courses approved by the CODA

If you’ve decided to earn your professional certification, the next thing is to register for a dental assistant training program that is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The CODA is a nationally-recognized organization that coordinates dental assistant training across the nation.

What’s CODA accreditation?

Accreditation by the CODA is regarded as essential since only graduates from a school recognized by this body can take one of the national certification exams.

About online dental assistant programs

A desirable alternative to on-campus courses, online dental assistant programs offer pupils the freedom to attend class and complete their training based on their personal schedules. In circumstances where a person does not live in close proximity to a school, these courses are likewise ideal.

Be advised, however, that online classes still call for students to finish their hands-on training hours at a physical site associated with the school.

Step 3: Graduate from the program and complete the required internship hours

Completing the approved course you chose in the preceding step will be your next objective. The academic portion can frequently be finished in 12 months or less, but finishing the required internship hours (sometimes called an “externship”) at a dental office can often take more time.

A lot of training courses devote the classroom section of their syllabus to the content that will probably be covered in the national certification exams. Offering students hands-on experience in an actual dental office, alternatively, is the emphasis of the internship part of a course.

Step 4: Pass one of the main national certification exams

To receive a nationally-recognized dental assistant certification, you must pass either the NELDA or CDA test. You have to finish a course approved by the CODA to be eligible to sit for one of these tests. A passing score on either test will award you the distinction Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Let’s take a closer look at these exams below.

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

One of the primary national examinations is the National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam (NELDA), which is a three-part examination recognized all over the country. The examination is administered in a timed structure, and includes three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). A passing grade on the examination gives the pupil the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) certification.

Becoming eligible to challenge the exam requires the individual being able to satisfy one of the following two requirements:

  • Finished a CODA-accredited dental assistant training program, or
  • Obtained equivalent on-the-job experience as a dental assistant

CDA Exam

The CDA is administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and also grants the title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). There are 60 multiple-choice questions on this one-hour, 45-minute timed test.

Being eligible for this exam additionally relies on the candidate having either:

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

What is the typical dental assistant salary in Nevada?

Dental assistant salary differs based upon various things, but the median wage was $37,630 in 2017 per the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The table below reflects the most recent data on salary offered in Nevada.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460$36,940$52,000
NevadaHourly$12.19$17.36$23.34
Yearly$25,340$36,110$48,550
Western Central Nevada BOSHourly$12.86$19.68$26.72
Yearly$26,760$40,930$55,570
Carson City, NV MSAHourly$13.99$18.54$23.74
Yearly$29,100$38,560$49,370
Reno-Sparks, NV MSAHourly$11.91$17.71$24.83
Yearly$24,780$36,830$51,640
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSAHourly$12.17$17.18$22.77
Yearly$25,320$35,730$47,360
Other Nevada BOSHourly$12.21$16.18$25.82
Yearly$25,400$33,660$53,710