What Does It Take to Become a Dental Assistant?

Did you know that the job outlook for dental assistants for 2020 to 2030 is a growth of 11%? This means that this career has a faster than average growth rate. It’s clear there’s a demand for these professionals!

So when it comes to career options, becoming a dental assistant is a great one. Read on to find out what it takes to go down this career path!

Required Education

The good news is, you don’t have to have a college degree to become a dental assistant. You’ll need just a high school diploma or a GED, which is the equivalent of one.

If you’re currently in high school, you’ll want to pay particular attention to your science classes, such as biology and chemistry. Take anatomy, physiology, and other related classes if you can.

While not needed in some states, it can be a good idea to go to a dental assistant training program. You can take these at either vocational schools or community colleges.

For example, UMA dental assistant training is offered at a vocational school and you can get your diploma in 12 months. Not only that, but you can take classes either online or on campus, which makes it very convenient!

These programs will teach you about oral anatomy and how to use dental materials and equipment. They’ll also offer you hands-on experience so you’re confident when you start your job.


You might be licensed to work as a dental assistant. However, the requirements for a license will differ by state, so you’ll have to do additional research. We recommend that you check with the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), as they’ll have all the correct information you need to proceed with licensing.


Just like how some states don’t require you to go through a dental assistant program, some don’t require you to get certified either. You’ll need to check the requirements for your state.

If you need a certification, then it’s usually the DANB one. This test requires that you get a score of 400 or better out of 900.

Depending on which one you aim for, you might need some actual work experience before you can get certified. This is especially true if you want to specialize in orthodontic, preventive functions, or restorative functions.

Apply for a Job

Once you get your license and necessary certifications, you’re ready to apply for a job! Based on the stat in the intro, it shouldn’t be hard to find one in your local area. So put out your feelers!

Career Options: Become a Dental Assistant

As you can see, becoming a dental assistant comes with many perks and doesn’t take as much effort as some other career options. So if you’ve been in a dead-end job and want to switch, or you’ve felt lost when it comes to your career, this can be a fantastic new start that’ll get you in the right direction!

If you’d like to learn more about things like online education and online certification opportunities, then browse our blog page!