Dental assistants in North Dakota are entry-level medical field professionals who help dentists with routine dental procedures and administrative tasks around the dentist’s office. Some assistants can find jobs even though they are not certified, but this is becoming unusual as the majority of organizations now would rather hire only those individuals who are graduates of an accredited training course.

This role is a great one for individuals who are beginning their careers in the medical field, thanks to the skyrocketing need for their skills in North Dakota. In fact, per the newest numbers available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be a 19% growth in dental assisting jobs during the next decade.

What is a dental assistant?

Generally speaking, dental assistants in North Dakota handle a variety of everyday customer service and patient care responsibilities for the dentist. The following link features the common responsibilities that offices place on their assistants.

What is the process to become a dental assistant in North Dakota?

The four-part process for becoming a dental assistant in North Dakota is shown below.

Step 1 – Complete your high school diploma or GED

Regardless of the job you choose to pursue, earning a high school diploma should be considered the first step. The same is the case with regards to most jobs in medical care. There are openings in the field that can be secured without completing a high school education, but they typically offer little room for growth.

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

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

If you have chosen to pursue your certification, the next thing is to enroll in a dental assistant training program that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dental assisting programs around the country are governed by the CODA, who works to standardize instruction in the trade all-around the country.

What is CODA accreditation?

Accreditation by the CODA is considered imperative because only students from a program recognized by this organization can take either of the national certification exams.

Dental assistant classes online

In order to better provide for students who work or have other obligations that make attending class difficult, many schools feature online pharmacy tech programs. These courses may also be perfect for people who don’t live near an institution that provides dental assisting education.

Be conscious, though, that online classes still call for students to finish their internship hours at a actual physical location affiliated with the program.

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

The next step is to finish the accredited course you have chosen. The academic and hands-on portions of the conventional program can often be completed in a year or less.

The majority of training classes devote the classroom part of their course of study to the content that will be covered in the national certification tests. In terms of the hands-on portion of the course, this is when trainees get hands-on experience in a functioning dental office environment.

Step 4: Pass the NELDA or CDA Certification Exam

To get a nationally-accepted dental assistant certification, you will need to pass the NELDA or CDA examination. You will need to finish a course accredited by the CODA to be qualified to challenge one of these examinations. You’ll earn the national credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) by passing either examination.

We take a closer look at these assessments 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 assessment is given in a timed structure, and contains three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). A passing grade on the test awards the individual the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credential.

Eligibility to sit for the test requires the individual having the ability to satisfy either of the next two requirements:

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

CDA Exam

The second popular national certification assessment is the CDA, and is provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Test takers have one hour and 45 minutes to complete 60 multiple-choice questions.

To become eligible to take this assessment, individuals have to satisfy one of the following prerequisites:

    • Finished a CODE-approved dental assistant course, or
    • Acquired equivalent work experience as a dental assistant

How much does a dental assistant make in North Dakota?

The median annual dental assistant salary was $37,630 in May 2017 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data table below contains the latest numbers on salary available in North Dakota.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
North DakotaHourly$15.78$19.55$29.54
Bismarck, ND MSAHourly$16.74$21.52$26.25
West Central North Dakota BOSHourly$16.20$20.60$25.97
Grand Forks, ND-MN MSAHourly$16.08$19.75$25.88
East Central North Dakota BOSHourly$13.26$19.51$24.69
Far Western North Dakota BOSHourly$15.16$18.99$28.31
Far Eastern North Dakota BOSHourly$15.67$18.65$34.69
Fargo, ND-MN MSAHourly$15.67$18.54$34.16