Employment is expected to increase
much faster than average; job
prospects are expected to be
Employment change. Employment is expected
to grow 36 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for
all occupations. In fact, dental assistants are expected to be among the fastest
growing occupations over the 2008�18 projection period. Population growth,
greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people, and an
increased focus on preventative dental care for younger generations will fuel
demand for dental services. Older dentists, who have been less likely to employ
assistants or have employed fewer, are leaving the occupation and will be
replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to use one or more assistants.
In addition, as dentists' workloads increase, they are expected to hire more
assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote their own time to
more complex procedures.
Job prospects. Job prospects should be
excellent, as dentists continue to need the aid of qualified dental assistants.
There will be many opportunities for entry-level positions, but some dentists
prefer to hire experienced assistants, those who have completed a
dental-assisting program, or have met State requirements to take on expanded
functions within the office.
In addition to job openings due to employment growth, some job openings will
arise out of the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations,
retire, or leave for other reasons.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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