The dental assistant in Vermont is an entry-level medical field worker who assists the dentist in many daily functions around the office. Some assistants are able to become employed even though they are not certified, but this is definitely becoming uncommon since the majority of organizations now prefer to hire only those applicants who are graduates of an accredited training course.

The need for dental assistants in Vermont is forecasted to grow greatly in the coming years, so it is an attractive option for all those who are beginning their careers. The 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% surge in new positions for dental assistants by 2026.

What does a dental assistant do in Vermont?

The principal responsibilities of the dental assistant in Vermont focus on the functions which help the office service its customers and provide basic dental care. Though many facilities may require even more tasks, the following link highlights the principal role of most dental assistants.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Vermont

The process for becoming a dental assistant in Vermont can be summed-up in the next four actions.

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

Receiving your high school diploma is one of the basic fundamentals to finding work in any specialized job. This is the case when considering the majority of jobs in medicine and health. There are jobs in the field that can be secured without a high school diploma, but they typically provide very little room for growth.

On top of that, many dental assistant classes require applicants to be high school graduates or hold a G.E.D. as part of their admissions prerequisites. That being said, if you’re planning on working in healthcare, it’s always a wise decision to accomplish this worthwhile initial step.

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

If you have chosen to earn your certification, the next thing is to sign-up for a dental assistant training program that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). This body coordinates training curricula and standards to ensure consistent high quality in nationwide dental assistant schools.

What is CODA accreditation?

Because only students who finish a training course accredited by the CODA are immediately entitled to challenge one of the national certification exams, it’s imperative that you finish a program that is accredited by this organization.

A look at online dental assistant programs

In order to better provide for pupils who work or have other responsibilities that make going to class difficult, a large number of schools offer pharmacy tech classes online. For pupils who don’t live around a physical campus that provides the training they are looking for, online courses are also an attractive alternative.

Although it is possible to finish the classroom section of a program online, it will still be required to complete the hands-on training section in-person at a designated site.

Step 3: Fulfill all requisite internship hours and finish the program

After finding an approved program that satisfies your goals, the next step is to finish it. The classroom part can often be finished in 12 months or less, but completing the necessary internship hours (often referred to as an “externship”) at a dental office may possibly take more time.

The majority of training classes devote the classroom part of their syllabus to the subject matter that will probably be included in the national certification exams. In regards to the internship section of the training, this is when pupils get hands-on training in a functioning dental office setting.

Step 4: Pass one of the main national certification examinations

There are two highly-popular dental assistant certification tests – the NELDA and CDA. After you’ve graduated from a CODA-approved course, you will become able to take either one of them. A passing grade on either test will give you the title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

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

National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)

The National Entry Level Dental Assistant Exam (NELDA) is given by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and is a three-part test. The one-hour, 50-minute exam contains three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). Upon passing the exam, the student receives the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) credential.

CDA Exam

Also provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), is the CDA also grants the nationally-recognized title Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) to people who get a passing mark. There are 60 multiple-choice questions on this one-hour, 45-minute timed test.

To be eligible to sit for these tests, candidates have to satisfy one of the following prerequisites:

  • Graduated from a CODE-accredited dental assistant training program, or
  • Gained comparable work experience as a dental assistant

Dental assistant pay in Vermont

Dental assistant salary varies based on many factors, but the median wage was $37,630 in 2017 per the most recent information reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dental assistant pay in Vermont may differ to some extent from the nation’s median, as is shown in the data table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Southern Vermont BOSHourly$15.38$19.92$24.53
Northern Vermont BOSHourly$14.63$19.10$29.55
Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTAHourly$15.94$19.02$28.31