The job outlook is excellent. A 2008 salary study by the Dental Assisting National Board found that Dental Assistants with national certification earned an average of $18 and hour, compared with $15.02 for those without certification. The median salary in Tennessee was $17.75 an hour. Nationwide, Dental Assistants with five years of experience or less made an average of $15 an hour.
Within the field, Dental Assistants can specialize in areas that include orthodontics, pediatrics, oral surgery, and periodontics.