Best Dental Assistant Schools in Texas – 2023
Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Dental assisting is a well-paying position in Texas, and you can benefit from perks such as working normal business hours or even setting their own schedule. Many employers are currently looking for dental assistants who have completed a quality training program. On this page we’ve listed the best dental assistant programs in Texas so that you can begin planning for your future in this rapidly developing career.
5 Things that will Make Your Dental Assistant Schooling Easier
When you are motivated, going to dental assistant school is fun and exciting. However, there are five things that you can do to make your time in training even easier. First, make sure to recruit the support of your family and friends. Second, choose a training program that fits your schedule so that you can be sure to attend every class. Third, get organized. Dental assistant schools in Texas require you to complete courses that do require studying. Be sure to set up a study area at home where you can complete your homework without interruptions. Fourth, be sure to get as much hands-on training as possible. Finally, be involved in your classes. Ask your instructors questions, and be an active participant in group discussions.
Dental Assistant Program Length & Cost in Texas
In TX, you can expect to pay around $23,300 at most for a certificate program. If you choose to earn an associate degree, then it will cost slightly more at around $35,660.
| Type of Program|| Length|| Cost|
| Certificate / Diploma||6 – 15 Months||$1,990 - $23,300|
| Associate Degree||2 Years||$5,830 - $35,660|
WHAT ARE THE BEST DENTAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMS IN TEXAS?
(Based on our Ranking Methodology, below are the 10 best dental assistant programs in Texas. The list includes both campus-based and online programs.)
San Antonio College is one of the eight institutions in Texas that are accredited by the American Dental Association. This means, the curriculum you take meets the high standards set forth by the ADA.
The college offers a Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science Degree for dental assisting aspirants. Both these programs, offered in fall, train you to fulfill administrative, clinical as well lab functions required to work at a dentist’s office. The three-semester Level 1 Certificate covers 14 technical courses that will help you master knowledge of dental materials, dental radiology, dental science, lab procedures, preventive dentistry, dental office management and advanced dental assisting applications. The Associate Degree curriculum requires you to complete 60 credits that include the 14 technical and additional 9 general education courses. The first three semesters of technical coursework follow two semesters in the general education courses.
Grayson College thoroughly prepares dental assisting graduates to take the RDA and CDA exams. A fine blend of classwork, lab practice sessions and clinical practicum, ensure you gain all the required professional skills and knowledge to excel in this career.
This dental assistant program in TX comes with two options - Certificate and an Associate Degree. While both the programs entail completing the dental assisting coursework that takes 9.5 months to complete, the associate requires an additional 25 hours of general education courses that can be taken either before or after finishing the dental assistant coursework. Offered every fall, the college limits its intake to 25 students each year. Before you start the program, you are required to complete courses in general psychology and English.
To become a dental assistant in TX, the College of Health Care Professions offers a dental assistant certificate program in a hybrid as well as on-campus format at multiple locations in the state. Added to this there is also a part-time (evening) and full-time (day) schedule to choose from. This flexibility and convenience best suits students who are working or have family responsibilities to fulfill.
This dental assistant certificate training can be completed, either in 36 or 54 weeks, depending on the schedule you choose. The coursework is divided into eight modules, adding up to a total of 36.6 credit hours. You will learn about anatomy, physiology, dental charting, preventive dentistry, dental radiology, infection control, dental materials, dental procedures, dental surgeries, medical ethics and laws, customer service and office procedures.
The dental assistant career is witnessing a phenomenal growth in the state of Texas as more and more people seek advanced oral procedures. To meet this growing demand Concorde Career College offers career ready training at three convenient locations in the state.
This coursework incorporates both the clinical and administrative aspects of a dental assistant’s career. You will start your training with an introduction to dental assisting and end it with an externship at a real-world dental setting. The program teaches you to effectively assist a dentist by fulfilling various duties such as preparing patients for procedures, performing lab procedures, maintaining patient records and scheduling appointments. Upon graduation, you will earn a diploma and be eligible for the CDA and RDA exams.
Being a successful dental assistant requires you to be patient, a good communicator and skilled at clinical procedures. Amarillo College designs a curriculum that incorporates all these factors, thus training graduates to be job ready.
Before starting this two-semester certificate course, you are required to complete a pre-requisite coursework in English, psychology, anatomy and interpersonal communication. The core dental assistant coursework includes courses in dental radiology, dental lab procedures, knowledge of dental materials, effective communication and office management. Laying strong emphasis on practical training, 20% of your program time will be spent at local dental offices, where you will learn through real-time observation and practice. Upon completion of this course you will be able to successfully handle the front office and back office functions at a dental office.
Texas State Technical College has been serving students in the “Lone Star” State for more than 50 years now. Its specialized vocational training aims at catering to the changing needs of the healthcare industry.
In less than 8 months-time, this certificate program will help you acquire the professional competence required to work as a dental assistant. The dynamic coursework includes a six-credit hour supervised clinical practicum where you will apply the classroom knowledge and skills in a clinical setting. Upon completion of this course, you can either go on to work at a dentist’s office as a dental assistant or take up a job as a dental laboratory technician.
Tyler Junior College provides dental assisting students with state-of art facilities where they thrive to achieve a positive academic outcome. This dental assistant school in Texas also runs its own dental clinic on campus, allowing students to witness dental patients being treated from close quarters.
This certificate in dental assisting is a 11-month training that helps you set foot into the dental field. In this short span you will go through didactic lectures, lab sessions and clinical training that will make you proficient in assisting the dentist in routine diagnostic, operative, administrative and lab procedures. Upon completion of this 30-credit hour coursework you will be eligible to take the CDA certification exam that is recognized nationally and the RDA licensure exam that is required by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.
If you are keen on entering a healthcare career that is a fast-growing one, then considering Del Mar College to complete a dental assistant program can open-up employment opportunities in varied fields, such as dental clinics, dental assistant school faculty, insurance companies and dental product sales.
Depending on your career goals, you can choose from the certificate or associate degree program. While the certificate is a level II in dental assisting and mainly focuses on dental radiology, the Associate in Applied Science is a more rounded learning experience as it includes general education courses in liberal arts as well. Coursework entails completing a clinical practicum at a dentist’s office that is planned in consultation with the faculty, dentist and student. This provides for an individualized practice experience and hones you in your topic of interest.
Vista College offers a dynamic student-centric learning environment where students are nurtured by a faculty who have firsthand experience of working in the dental field. Furthermore, the college maintains small sized classes to ensure individualized student attention. From enrollment to landing that coveted job, you will be assisted all along by the college’s caring staff.
This dental assistant diploma comes with an additional AAS program option for those who want to expand their dental assistant knowledge. While the diploma can be completed in 12 months, the AAS takes 20 months of study time. The additional 8 months of general coursework can be taken either in the day or evenings, depending on personal preferences. The diploma focuses mainly on dental procedures, dental radiography and infection control. On the other hand, the AAS covers a broader spectrum of topics that include office administration and customer service.
Altierus Career College trains a workforce of dental assistants with a strong emphasis on patient-care and relevant employment ready skills. With focus on hands-on training, graduates are thoroughly trained to face the challenges of this profession.
This short Dental Assistant course will train you to enter the dental care field in as little as 9 months. For high schoolers the college recommends that you choose biology, chemistry and math as your subjects. These courses provide an ideal base for the dental assistant coursework that includes technical courses such as dental radiography, dental anatomy and orthodontics, lab procedures, and the knowhow of dental specialties. Upon graduation you can take up an entry level dental assistant position at a clinical setting of your choice.
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Dental Assistant Career Information For Texas - 2023
How Many Dental Assistants are Currently Employed in TX?
Where are Dental Assistants Currently Working in Texas?
Texas is filled with dental offices that require someone to help dentists provide comfortable services to patients. Right now, the most common place for a dental assistant to work is in a traditional dentist office where you can expect to welcome patients to the office and help them get comfortable in the chair. Once you begin the appointment, you may also do tasks such as hand the dentists the tools that they need to do a procedure. Government organizations also require dental assistants to help provide services to people who visit certain agencies. For instance, you may perform the same types of tasks as you would in a regular dental office on veterans or people who lack access to traditional dental care. A small number of dental assistants work in physician offices. These positions typically require you to help doctors perform procedures that affect the mouth and teeth such as minor oral surgical procedures.
| Industry|| Number of Dental Assistants|
|Offices of Dentists||29,570|
|Outpatient Care Centers||570|
|Offices of Physicians||570|
What is the Average Salary of a Dental Assistant in Texas?
The average dental assistant salary in Texas is higher than twice the minimum wage in the state since the current hourly wage is just over $18.83. With the monthly salary at around $3,260, you can afford a nice apartment or mortgage once you finish your training and obtain a position in the dental field.
| Type|| Salary|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Salary Based on Years of Experience
| Years of Experience || Hourly || Monthly || Annual |
| Less than 1 year (Starting) || $13.59 || $2,360 || $28,270 |
| 1-4 years || $15.12 || $2,620 || $31,450 |
| 5-9 years || $18.06 || $3,130 || $37,570 |
| 10-19 years || $21.44 || $3,720 || $44,600 |
| 20 years or more || $24.24 || $4,200 || $50,420 |
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Dental Assistant Average Salary Comparison: Texas vs. National
Dental assisting in Texas pays 12.39% lower than the national average. While this may seem significant, it is only $2,630 less than the national average, which is made up for by the generally lower cost of living that you enjoy by living in the Lone Star State.
| Texas|| National|| Difference|
| Number|| %|
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Over the next ten years, the demand for people who have finished dental assisting training is going to grow by 31.61%. Texas has an extremely high rate of growth for this position due to several different things that are happening in the state. First, many rural and suburban cities are expanding, which means that dental offices are being opened to accommodate people who are moving away from the more urban areas. Second, you will notice that economical changes such as the flourishing oil and gas industry also has more people moving from out of state to Texas. A higher population growth means that more people need dental care. Finally, there are also large portions of the population that are reaching the age when dental procedures become more common.
| Employment|| Employment Growth (2020-2030)|
| 2020|| 2030|| Number|| Percent|
Annual Job Openings
| New || Replacement|| Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)|
Metro Wise Employment & Salary Data
The Dallas-Fort-Worth metroplex has the highest number of dental assistants. Not only is this area home to sporting complexes such as Globe Life Park in Arlington, but there are also smaller cities within the metroplex that are rapidly growing. Frisco, McKinney and Plano are all suburban areas that give you a beautiful place to live and find work within a dentist office.
The Houston area employs only slightly fewer dental assistants than the Dallas metroplex. You can thank the booming oil and gas industry for this high rate of employment, and you can also enjoy making around $18.79 an hour living here. With the coast nearby and a bustling cultural arts district in Houston, you can enjoy many exciting activities along with your flexible hours as a dental assistant.
Compared to the first two metroplexes, San Antonio has only half as many dental assistants working. This is likely due to it being a smaller metroplex. However, you will still make more than $38,000 a year here. Austin is located near San Antonio, and the city was recently recognized as having one of the highest population growth rates in the entire United States. This means that it could easily move up the ranks over the next few years as having a higher need for dental assistants to care for the people moving to the area.
| Metro || Employment || Average Salary |
| Hourly || Monthly || Annual |
| Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington || 10,550 || $19.84 || $3,440 || $41,270 |
| Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land || 7,720 || $18.79 || $3,260 || $39,080 |
| San Antonio-New Braunfels || 3,180 || $18.42 || $3,190 || $38,310 |
| Austin-Round Rock || 2,680 || $20.78 || $3,600 || $43,220 |
| El Paso || 840 || $15.75 || $2,730 || $32,770 |
| McAllen-Edinburg-Mission || 640 || $16.02 || $2,780 || $33,330 |
| Corpus Christi || 450 || $17.89 || $3,100 || $37,210 |
| Killeen-Temple || 390 || $18.40 || $3,190 || $38,270 |
| Tyler || 370 || $17.56 || $3,040 || $36,520 |
| Beaumont-Port Arthur || 350 || $17.96 || $3,110 || $37,350 |
| Lubbock || 350 || $16.84 || $2,920 || $35,030 |
| College Station-Bryan || 330 || $16.97 || $2,940 || $35,290 |
| Amarillo || 320 || $17.82 || $3,090 || $37,070 |
| Brownsville-Harlingen || 310 || $16.17 || $2,800 || $33,630 |
| Sherman-Denison || 260 || $17.23 || $2,990 || $35,840 |
| Waco || 260 || $17.57 || $3,050 || $36,550 |
| Longview || 250 || $16.91 || $2,930 || $35,170 |
| Abilene || 190 || $16.65 || $2,890 || $34,630 |
| Laredo || 190 || $16.39 || $2,840 || $34,100 |
| Midland || 180 || $19.28 || $3,340 || $40,100 |
| Odessa || 140 || $18.61 || $3,230 || $38,700 |
| Texarkana || 130 || $17.21 || $2,980 || $35,800 |
| Wichita Falls || 130 || $17.11 || $2,970 || $35,590 |
| San Angelo || 120 || $17.38 || $3,010 || $36,160 |
| Victoria || 80 || $18.82 || $3,260 || $39,150 |
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
Useful Dental Assistant Organizations & Associations in Texas
Texas Dental Assistants Association (TDAA)
This organization aims to ensure that all dental assistants in the state uphold the standards that are designed to provide high quality care to every patient. As a member, you can connect with other dental assistants and stay on top of the current events occurring within the industry.
Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.