Anyone looking to become a dental assistant in Virginia should be very excited with the strong growth expected over the next decade. In the article below we will cover the steps towards certification, the career growth, salary and much more!

What do dental assistants do in Virginia?

The basic responsibilities of the dental assistant in Virginia focus on the activities which help the office service its customers and provide basic dental care. The subsequent link features the traditional responsibilities that offices put on their assistants.

How to become a dental assistant in Virginia.

The four-part procedure for becoming a dental assistant in Virginia is displayed below.

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

The first step towards whatever occupation you pursue really should be getting a high school diploma. When considering opportunities in the medical field, this is especially true. You can find positions in the field that may be held without completing a high school diploma, but they generally have very little room for growth.

Step 2: Register for classes approved by the CODA

If you have decided to earn your certification, the second step is to sign-up for a dental assistant training program that is recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The CODA is a nationally-regarded body that coordinates dental assistant training across the nation. It’s absolutely imperative that you finish a course in VA that is accredited by the CODA, as only students who have finished an accredited training course are eligible to take either of the national certification exams.

Approved Dental Assisting Courses in Virginia

Dental Assisting – Germanna Community College
Virginia
Germanna Community College
Germanna Community College
2130 Germanna Highway
Locust Grove
22508
540-423-9823
Program Director: Ms. Misty Lynn Mesimer
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2012
Next Accreditation Visit: 2019

Dental Assisting – Centura College-Norfolk
Virginia
Centura College-Norfolk
7020 N Military Highway
Norfolk
23518-4833
757-853-2121
Program Director: Ms. Charmaine Chappell
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval with Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2018
Next Accreditation Visit: 2025

Dental Assisting – Fortis College- Richmond
Virginia
Fortis College- Richmond
Fortis College
2000 Westmoreland Street
Suite A
Richmond
23230
804-323-1020 x1836
Program Director: Ms. Cheryl Evans
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2011
Next Accreditation Visit: 2018

Dental Assisting – J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Virginia
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
P.O. Box 85622
700 East Jackson Street
Richmond
23285-5622
804-523-5380
http://www.reynolds.edu
Program Director: Dr. David Minoza
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Dental Assisting – Northern Virginia Community College
Virginia
Northern Virginia Community College
6699 Springfield Center Drive
Attn: Edith Tynan
Dental Hygiene Program
Springfield
22150
703-822-2717
http://www.nvcc.edu
Program Director: Dr. Lisbeth Shewmaker
Discipline Code: DA
Accreditation Status: Approval without Reporting Requirements
Last Accreditation Visit: 2014
Next Accreditation Visit: 2021

Step 3: Complete Virginia Dental Assisting training course

Once you have found an accredited program that meets your needs, the next thing is to finish it. Though every program is somewhat different, it is quite common for pupils to complete their academic training and internship in as little as 12 months.

A lot of training courses dedicate the classroom part of their syllabus to the subject matter that will be covered in the national certification assessments. Offering trainees hands-on practice in an actual dental office, conversely, is the focus of the internship section of a program.

Step 4: Successfully pass the NELDA or CDA examination

The NELDA and CDA are the two exams that award nationally-accepted dental assistant certifications. After you have finished a CODA-approved program, you will be eligible to sit for either one of them. A passing grade on either test will give you the distinction Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

Here is a detailed explanation of both examinations.

How much does a dental assistant make in Virginia?

Dental assistant salary and pay in Virginia varies somewhat from the national average, as is shown in the data table below. All data is from bls.gov latest statistics.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Yearly$25,460 $36,940 $52,000
VirginiaHourly$13.34$18.91$27.55
Yearly$27,750 $39,320 $57,300
Harrisonburg, VA MSAHourly$13.80$20.60$24.62
Yearly$28,710 $42,840 $51,210
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan DivisionHourly$14.14$20.19$29.37
Yearly$29,410 $42,000 $61,100
Charlottesville, VA MSAHourly$15.95$19.23$23.91
Yearly$33,170 $39,990 $49,740
Richmond, VA MSAHourly$15.25$19.16$26.68
Yearly$31,720 $39,860 $55,490
Lynchburg, VA MSAHourly$14.03$18.53$27.57
Yearly$29,180 $38,540 $57,350
Roanoke, VA MSAHourly$12.78$18.25$23.51
Yearly$26,590 $37,960 $48,900
Winchester, VA-WV MSAHourly$11.12$17.48$26.42
Yearly$23,120 $36,360 $54,960
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA MSAHourly$13.07$17.01$32.34
Yearly$27,190 $35,380 $67,270
Northwestern Virginia BOSHourly$11.48$16.17$22.45
Yearly$23,870 $33,630 $46,700
Southside Virginia BOSHourly$13.14$16.08$18.82
Yearly$27,330 $33,450 $39,150
Northeastern Peninsulas BOSHourly$10.50$15.91$18.89
Yearly$21,830 $33,090 $39,280
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSAHourly$12.47$15.60$22.58
Yearly$25,930 $32,450 $46,970
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSAHourly$10.59$14.72$20.66
Yearly$22,020 $30,610 $42,960
Southwestern Virginia BOSHourly$9.36$14.23$21.87
Yearly$19,470 $29,600 $45,500