Sort of torn on career choice. *Small update post 24

Which career path?

  • Dental assistant (current path)

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Dental Hygienist (another option)

    Votes: 9 39.1%

  • Total voters
    23
  • Poll closed .

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
My choices: Certified Dental assistant (CDA) with expanded functions OR Registerd Dental Hygienist (RDH).

Current Program: Im currently in the Dental assisting program which is a 9 month program and cost about $6000 all together.

Pro's of Dental assistant: Dental assistant is a full time job and there are a lot of job openings constantly for it. Since its full time we get benifits like 401k and insurance. See different things everyday and can go into special fields like oral sugery, Implant surgery, Endo, perio, orhto, ect.. And im enjoying it a lot

Cons of Dental assistant: Paid less the hygienist, go on vacation when he dentist goes on vacation. Really the only one is paid less

The Hygiene: 24month program, cost is about $20,000

Pros of hygiene: Paid more, make your own schedule less work

Cons of hygiene: Pretty much part time, if you want to work full time you work in several offices. Since its part time you dont always get benifits. You repeat the same thing everyday it pretty much does not change so it can get old after a while. You have to pay to keep your license. Not as many job openings.

Reason why I don’t want to do the other program: Im broke as hell, and cant afford it. And I was wanting to give the assisting thing a shot since I did go through this program for that reason.

How I feel currently: Im very happy with the assisting program and enjoy every part of it. The only thing that bothers me is its less pay. And I kind of like the idea of being able to start working this July as opposed to 2 years from now is I choose to go into the other program

So tell me what you all think. And those are the only two options for those of you who want to suggest something totally different.
 

Lk.3

original gangsta ****
Hygienist is where the money is at.

If you start off as an assistant, is there a possibility to advance through the office? Possible that they may even help pay for the school?
 

Demoic

Demonic Mustang!
Whats the pay difference?? Remember the pay difference doesn't mean **** if you get sick and don't have health insurance. (staying health is expensive!)
 

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
Hygienist is where the money is at.

If you start off as an assistant, is there a possibility to advance through the office? Possible that they may even help pay for the school?
Very possible. Good thinking

Whats the pay difference?? Remember the pay difference doesn't mean **** if you get sick and don't have health insurance. (staying health is expensive!)
The pay starting for assistant is $16-18/hr and for Hygiene its about $22-25 starting but you have to remember they have to pay to keep licenses and pay for insurance and health coverage is very important. In the end an assistant can make about 35,000-50,000 a year depending on the field your in and of course location. Hygienist can make 48,000-60,000 in my area and in major metropolitan areas both make more. Pay is still slowly rising for both fields.
 

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
And also I forgot to mention I will also have an AA degree by the time im working so I may or may not get paid more for having that degree.
 

Demoic

Demonic Mustang!
I'd say stay where you are. It's better to enjoy what your doing that anything else. Money is always an added bonus, but if you think you'd enjoy the other just as much it sounds like more liability and a lot more upkeep for minimal bonuses (if you can get insurance in with the other if not its not a big difference in pay especially if things go south).
 

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
I'd say stay where you are. It's better to enjoy what your doing that anything else. Money is always an added bonus, but if you think you'd enjoy the other just as much it sounds like more liability and a lot more upkeep for minimal bonuses (if you can get insurance in with the other if not its not a big difference in pay especially if things go south).
My boyfriend says the same. He told me to try out the assisting first especially since im really enjoying it. Its pretty comforting to know he does not mind me doing what I like for a little less pay.
 

Dan-The-Man

New Member
Dental assistant. From what you described it seems like you would enjoy that more. This is going to be your career so you're going to want to enjoy it. The pay isn't really that big of a difference so it shouldn't be that big of a factor. I would rather get paid 50k and enjoy my job, rather then 60k and be bored all the time.
 

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
Dental assistant. From what you described it seems like you would enjoy that more. This is going to be your career so you're going to want to enjoy it. The pay isn't really that big of a difference so it shouldn't be that big of a factor. I would rather get paid 50k and enjoy my job, rather then 60k and be bored all the time.
Thanks. Thats what ive felt for a while. I like getting opinions.
 

PurpleStang

DON'T PANIC
My boyfriend says the same. He told me to try out the assisting first especially since im really enjoying it. Its pretty comforting to know he does not mind me doing what I like for a little less pay.
If your descriptions are accurate and that is, in fact, what you think you'll enjoy more, try that for a while. It's never too late to do something else if that doesn't work out. And it sounds like you found a good guy. ;)
 

nikko

Admin Emeritus
My wife did front-office dental work for many many years.

I think in the end you'll be happier as a hygienist. I tend to think of that as more of a career where assisting is more of a job. Both are in high demand, but it seems turnover in the assistant area is much higher.

In either job, it comes down to finding a doctor you like as that will make or break the whole gig.

Give the assisting a try and see how it suits you... no reason to rush into more schooling. I have a feeling though that in the long run you might find hygiene offers you more.
 

V6mustang94

Well-Known Member
Start out as an assistant. You seem to like it a lot and you've already started it. Why quit something you enjoy to do something you are unsure of. Finish what you started.

You can always go back later if you decide being a hygienist would be better for you.
 

sgramer

Big LoZer
That does ocasionally happen if you find the right dentist.

Thanks:thumbup:

It would be great if you could find one that would. We are kind of lucky my wife's employer pays for her school. I guess you could just ask around and see which ones do and try to get a job at one that does.
 

Tiffany97

Well-Known Member
My wife did front-office dental work for many many years.

I think in the end you'll be happier as a hygienist. I tend to think of that as more of a career where assisting is more of a job. Both are in high demand, but it seems turnover in the assistant area is much higher.

In either job, it comes down to finding a doctor you like as that will make or break the whole gig.

Give the assisting a try and see how it suits you... no reason to rush into more schooling. I have a feeling though that in the long run you might find hygiene offers you more.
The doctor def. plays a huge role in if you like your job or not. And ive had eveything you just said go through my mind before.

Start out as an assistant. You seem to like it a lot and you've already started it. Why quit something you enjoy to do something you are unsure of. Finish what you started.

You can always go back later if you decide being a hygienist would be better for you.
I think this is what ill do. A lot of assistants do that and they either find the perfect doctor and stay with them for most of thier career or they hate it and move on to hygiene. Although all the hygienist that ive talked to that have done assisting say they miss it.

It would be great if you could find one that would. We are kind of lucky my wife's employer pays for her school. I guess you could just ask around and see which ones do and try to get a job at one that does.
I will be thinking of that when I job search.
 

Brandon

Better Than Sliced Bread!
I wouldn't be as focused on the now as 5-10-20 years down the road. I would hate to be in a dead end job where... what you do is what you will be doing until you retire as in no advances in level or what not... just same ole day in and day out.
 
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