Certification = Practice Loyalty
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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As staff recruitment and retention continue to be major concerns in many dental practices, dentists should take note of results released from the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) 2006 survey.
The DANB’s biennial, Show me the Money Salary Survey,results, as reported in Volume 25 Issue 1, Winter 2007 of DANB Certified Press, indicate that certified assistants stay with the same employer for 9.3 years on average, which is more than 8% above figures reported in the 2004 survey. In addition, Certified Dental Assistants tend to remain in the profession for more than 15 years.
The median salary for certified assistants is $16.50 per hour, compared to $14.74 for non-certified assistants. Reported salaries are highest in Minnesota at $19.38, on average, and lowest in Utah at $14.59, on average. Eighteen of the 50 states reported average salaries in the $16 per hour range, 10 reported salaries in the $15 range, 11 reported salaries in the $17 per hour range, 9 reported salaries in the $18-$19 range, and only Utah and Missouri reported salaries in the $14 range. Those working in specialty practices earn higher salaries than general practice assistants, with periodontic assistants earning $18.50 per hour.
Salary is one of the critical factors when recruiting quality staff, and having some understanding of average salary rates in your state is essential information for any dentist competing for excellent employees. Keep in mind that dental auxiliaries typically have five primary objectives when job hunting: salary, benefits, location, hours, and status. Set your practice apart by highlighting all of these objectives in your advertising. In addition, hygienists are often attracted to treatments and advanced equipment advertised.Clinical assistants aspire to do more than just pass instruments. They are looking for progressive offices that delegate tasks and offer opportunities to work more closely with patients.
Approximately, 5,000 surveys were sent to a nationwide random sample of current DANB certified assistants. Surveys were returned by 28% of the recipients ensuring solid, reliable research data.
*(The amount for non-certified assistants was determined by taking he national median hourly wage for non-certified assistants last reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics in 2002 and adjusting at 3% per year for inflation.
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