Working in the dental field offers a fulfilling career path. While many of the positions require expert knowledge and a college degree, several dental positions do not require the potential candidate to have attended college. If you are keen on entering the field, starting in an entry-level position and working your way up is a good way to advance to more senior positions.
As a dental receptionist, you would be responsible for basic clerical tasks such as answering the phones, welcoming patients and checking them in, keeping the front dental office area of the practice tidy and looking professional. Dental receptionists might also be involved in arranging follow-up appointment times, accepting payment for services, and answering basic patient queries.
The national average salary for an entry-level dental receptionist is $14.36 per hour. The salary will increase as you gain more experience, with those who have ten years of experience earning an average of $17.45 per hour.
Dental receptionists do not need a college education, but most positions require a high school diploma or GED equivalent. It is beneficial if you have a basic understanding of medical terminology. You will also need to understand the rules relating to patient confidentiality.
As a biller in a dental office, you would be responsible for calculating and collecting the payments for services completed by the dentist and other professional staff within the practice. It is the medical biller’s responsibility to ensure that invoices for services are rendered promptly following treatment. Medical billers also deal with insurance companies. They would typically be involved in sending invoices for services, dealing with insurance company queries, and investigating any claims that insurance companies deny.
The national average wage for medical or dental billers is $16.88 per hour. This will typically increase as you gain more experience.
While some companies require those applying for these positions to have a college degree, several companies do not. A high school diploma or GED equivalent is likely to be a prerequisite, with any work experience in accounts or accounting a definite advantage.
Dental assistants are involved in patient care, working alongside the dentist and providing assistance as required. For example, the role could include preparing the treatment room, settling the patient and preparing them for treatment, sterilizing equipment, patient education, and answering patient queries.
Although a college degree is not necessary, dental assistants usually need to complete a dental assisting program through a community college, vocational school, university, dental school, or technical institute. These programs usually take between nine and eleven months to complete, although accelerated options are available at some schools.
Dental assistants receive an average salary of $18.64 per hour.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in the dental industry, the best thing you can do is talk to someone who understands the field and the range of positions available. Dental Career Connect has a range of tools on its website that may be able to assist. There is also a chatbot that can answer basic queries.