Pursuing a career in healthcare can be a great choice for many people — in fact, dental assistant jobs are currently projected to grow faster than the national average over the next decade. If you’re thinking this might be the right path for you, the first step is figuring out how to get trained. Below, we have some tips on how to become a dental assistant, so you can get yourself to the next stages toward your new career!
Learn more about the job
Before you dive right in and enroll in a dental assistant program, you’ll want to be sure that the career you’re training for is a good fit. After all, you don’t want to invest time and money in a new job only to discover later that it’s not compatible with you! Do you like interacting with people? Would you prefer to work inside rather than outside? Do the expected salaries of your job prospects match your financial goals? Ask questions about each specialization and the day-to-day work you’d have with each, as well as what you want for yourself, so you can be sure everything is aligned.
Research certification programs
Once you’re certain that you’re on the right path, you’ll want to find the best possible education — typically, a year-long certification program is all that’s required, but two-year associate’s degree programs are also available. Check out all of the training programs in your area and research each one to determine which are your top options. Read online reviews; compare course descriptions, schedules, and costs; and talk to instructors or administrators if possible. It’s also a good idea to check if they have any career assistance available for enrollees. This way, you can be confident you’re receiving the biggest benefit out of the tuition cost.
Figure out how to pay for it
While for many people their best option is to pay upfront, that’s not necessarily an option for everyone. If you’ve found that it would be better for you to break up payments instead, check to see what alternative payment options are available for your program. You might be able to pay with a payment plan or a student loan — there may even be scholarship, grant, or employer reimbursement opportunities available!
Get excited for the next chapter in your life
While gaining skills and entering into a new career can be daunting, it can also be exciting! Whether you’re taking the initial steps towards your very first job, or switching to healthcare from an entirely different industry, now that you know how to become a dental assistant, it’s your opportunity to enjoy the path you’re on and to get ready for great things in store.