Becoming a dental assistant in Utah is a wonderful step towards success! The allied health field as a whole is growing in demand every year. In the article below we will be covering how the field is doing as a whole, how to find success in the certification process and what to expect in the future.

What is a dental assistant do in Utah?

In general, dental assistants in Utah handle a range of day-to-day customer service and patient care tasks for the dentist. The link here shows the basic responsibilities that offices place on their assistants.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Utah

The four steps to become a dental assistant in Utah are outlined below.

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

No matter which career you decide to go after, receiving a high school diploma should always be considered the first step. When it comes to jobs in the healthcare industry, this is extremely true. You can find openings in the field that can be secured without a high school diploma, but they typically provide little room for advancement.

Step 2: Sign-up for a CODA-accredited training course in Utah

Choosing a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited course is the next step if you’ve decided to get certified. The CODA is a nationally-recognized organization that coordinates dental assistant training around the nation. Due to the fact that only students who complete a program approved by the CODA are immediately able to take one of the national certification exams, it is imperative that you finish a program that is approved by this body in the state of Utah.

CODA Approved Dental Assisting Courses in Utah

Dental Assisting – Davis Technical College
Utah
Davis Technical College
550 East 300 South Kaysville 84037
(801) 593-2349
Program Director: Ms. Cathy Turnbow
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2012
Next Accreditation Visit: 2019

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

Once you have located an approved course that satisfies your needs, the next step is to complete it. Although every course is somewhat different, it’s quite common for students to complete their classroom training and internship in as little as a year.

The academic portion of your training will likely include all of the principles and procedural-type content that will be included in the certification test. With regards to the hands-on portion of the program, this is when trainees get hands-on training in a functioning dental office environment.

Step 4: Successfully pass the NELDA or CDA test

There are two highly-popular dental assistant certification tests – the NELDA and CDA. You must finish a course recognized by the CODA to be qualified to challenge either of these examinations. College students who pass either exam obtain the nationally-accepted title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Each of these examinations are broken down in more detail here.

Dental assistant pay and salary in Utah

Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the dental assistant salary in Utah varies to some extent from the nation’s median, as is displayed in the data table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
UtahHourly$10.59$14.40$18.67
Yearly$22,030 $29,950 $38,840
Provo-Orem, UT MSAHourly$12.18$14.66$19.05
Yearly$25,340 $30,500 $39,630
Salt Lake City, UT MSAHourly$10.84$14.62$18.68
Yearly$22,540 $30,410 $38,850
Ogden-Clearfield, UT MSAHourly$10.06$14.33$18.70
Yearly$20,920 $29,800 $38,890
South Western Utah BOSHourly$10.47$14.24$18.86
Yearly$21,780 $29,620 $39,230
West Central Utah BOSHourly$11.90$13.89$16.90
Yearly$24,750 $28,880 $35,150
Eastern Utah BOSHourly$10.49$13.46$17.79
Yearly$21,810 $27,990 $37,000
St. George, UT MSAHourly$10.05$13.31$18.00
Yearly$20,910 $27,680 $37,440
Logan, UT-ID MSAHourly$8.65$13.10$18.08
Yearly$17,990 $27,250 $37,610