The dental assistant in Wyoming is an entry-level medical worker who supports the dentist in multiple everyday functions around the office. Although it can be possible for individuals with a high school diploma to learn this career by means of on-the-job training, the majority of organizations would rather employ people who have finished a 12-month dental assistant certification program. Due to record demand for new dental assistants in Wyoming, this profession is extremely desirable for individuals seeking an entry-level job in the medical field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 report predicts that the volume of new positions for dental assistants will surge by 19% by 2026.

What do dental assistants do in Wyoming?

Dental assistants in Wyoming are employed under the guidance of a dentist, and are given the task of performing a variety of supporting functions that assist in keeping the office operating smoothly. Though some employers may require even more responsibilities, the subsequent link shows the principal role of most dental assistants.

The steps to becoming a dental assistant in Wyoming

The certification process to become a dental assistant in Wyoming may be summed-up in the next four steps.

Step 1 – Graduate from high school or earn your G.E.D.

Regardless of the job you choose to go after, receiving a high school diploma should be considered the initial step. When considering job opportunities in the medical industry, this is especially true. There are openings in the industry that can be secured without a high school diploma, but they typically provide very little room for advancement.

On top of that, many dental assistant training programs call for applicants to be high school graduates or G.E.D. holders as part of their admissions requirements. That being said, if you are planning on earning a living in medical care, it’s always a wise decision to finish this crucial initial step.

Step 2: Sign-up for a CODA-approved training program

The next step in becoming eligible to work as a certified dental assistant is to sign-up for training courses that are recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The CODA is a nationally-respected body that coordinates dental assisting coursework around the country.

Why CODA accreditation matters

Accreditation by the CODA is viewed as imperative because only graduates from a course approved by this body can take one of the national certification exams.

Dental assistant classes online

A popular alternative option to campus-based programs, dental assistant classes online give college students the freedom to attend class and complete their education based on their personal schedules. For college students who do not live close to a college campus that features the training they are looking for, online programs are also an appealing alternative.

To clear up a popular false impression, although online classes allow students to undertake their academic studies via distance learning, the clinical, internship portion of their training has to be completed at a physical site.

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

The third step will be to complete the accredited program you’ve selected. The academic part can often be completed in one year or less, but finishing the required internship hours (occasionally referred to as an “externship”) at an actual dental office can take longer.

The academic segment of your studies will likely cover all of the concepts and procedural-type material that is found in the certification assessment. The externship, however, will supply you with the chance to put what you learn into practice in a functioning, professional setting.

Step 4: Pass the NELDA or CDA Certification Exam

The NELDA and CDA are the two exams that present nationally-recognized dental assisting certifications. Becoming eligible to challenge these exams calls for you to first complete a CODA-accredited training course. Students who pass either assessment earn the nationally-accepted distinction of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

The following is a quick breakdown of the two assessments.

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 test is made of three component exams (the RHS, ICE and AMP). Individuals who successfully pass the exam earn the title National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA).

To be qualified to challenge this test, a test taker must have either:

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

CDA Exam

The CDA Exam is sponsored by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), and also offers the title of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). There are 60 multiple-choice problems on this one-hour, 45-minute timed assessment.

To be eligible to challenge this exam, individuals must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Graduated from a CODE-accredited dental assistant course, or
  • Obtained equivalent work experience as a dental assistant

How much does a dental assistant make in Wyoming?

Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a dental assistant in the United States was $37,630 as of May 2017.

The data table below reflects the most recent data on salary available in Wyoming.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.24$17.76$25.00
Cheyenne, WY MSAHourly$10.64$17.66$28.38
Casper, WY MSAHourly$13.12$17.10$23.98
Northeastern Wyoming BOSHourly$13.71$17.07$20.65
Southwestern Wyoming BOSHourly$10.55$16.89$21.78
Southeastern Wyoming BOSHourly$10.54$14.54$18.79
Northwestern Wyoming BOSHourly$12.41$14.36$19.00