How To Become A Dental Assistant In California
How to Become a Dental Assistant in California
If you're interested in pursuing a career as a dental assistant in California, there are specific requirements and steps you need to take to achieve your goal. A dental assistant plays an essential role in the dental office, working closely with dentists and hygienists to provide patient care. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide on how to become a dental assistant in California.Complete a Dental Assisting ProgramThe first step in becoming a dental assistant in California is to complete a dental assisting program. There are several options for dental assisting programs, including certificate programs, diploma programs, and associate degree programs. These programs typically take 9-12 months to complete for a certificate or diploma and two years for an associate degree.
Obtain CPR Certification
Before beginning work as a dental assistant, you must obtain and maintain current CPR certification. Many dental assisting programs will include CPR certification as part of their curriculum, but you may need to obtain it separately if your program doesn't offer it.Obtain On-the-Job TrainingAfter completing a dental assisting program and obtaining CPR certification, you can begin working as a dental assistant. Many dental offices will provide on-the-job training to new dental assistants to help them gain experience and learn the necessary skills.
Pass the RDA Exam
To become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in California, you must pass the RDA exam. This exam tests your knowledge and skills in dental assisting and is required for state licensure.
Q: What is the difference between a dental assistant and a registered dental assistant in California?
A: A dental assistant is not required to hold a license in California, while a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) is licensed by the state. RDAs have passed the RDA exam and meet other requirements, such as completing continuing education courses.
Q: How much does a dental assistant make in California?
A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental assistants in California was $45,090 as of May 2020.
Q: Do I need to take any additional exams to become a dental assistant in California?
A: No, passing the RDA exam is only required if you want to become a Registered Dental Assistant in California. The RDA exam is not required for general dental assisting.
In conclusion, becoming a dental assistant in California requires completing a dental assisting program, obtaining CPR certification, and gaining on-the-job training. While licensure is not required to work as a dental assistant in California, pursuing an RDA license can provide additional career opportunities and earning potential. With these tips and strategies in mind, you'll be well on your way to pursuing a fulfilling and rewarding career as a dental assistant in California.