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Dental Support Services Major

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Dental Support Services

2,419 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
99 Master's Degrees Annually
#121 in Popularity
$43,180 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Dental Support Services Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many dental support services graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 11,304
Associate’s Degree 7,326
Basic Certificate 5,990
Bachelor’s Degree 2,436
Master’s Degree 99

What Dental Support Services Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to dental support and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Dental Support Majors

Dental Support majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Dental Support Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to dental support:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities for Dental Support Majors

A major in dental support will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Dental Support Services Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with dental support:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Dental Assistants 19.5% $38,660
Dental Hygienists 19.7% $74,820
Dental Laboratory Technicians 14.4% $40,440
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Support Services?

2,436 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
96% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,419 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dental support services in 2018, making it rank #121 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 96% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of dental support majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Dental Support Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 210
Black or African American 97
Hispanic or Latino 284
White 1,620
International Students 26
Other Races/Ethnicities 199

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Dental Support, too. About 1.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Venezuela
  • China
  • Libya

How Much Do Dental Support Services Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that dental support services students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $55,450 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $46,775 (25th percentile) and $59,600 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to dental support.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $39,770 to $75,500 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to dental support. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Dental Support Services Major  ( 39770 to 75500 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with dental support require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for dental support careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 12.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 23.9%
Some College Courses 2.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 33.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 10.9%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.2%
Master’s Degree 6.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.7%
Doctoral Degree 4.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.2%

Online Dental Support Services Programs

In 2017-2018, 866 schools offered a dental support program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 214 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 523 3
Certificate (2-4 Years) 21 0
Associate’s Degree 468 12
Bachelor’s Degree 1 1
Post-Baccalaureate 214 1
Master’s Degree 20 10
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Dental Support Services Worth It?

The median salary for a dental support grad is $43,180 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 8% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $65,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dental support.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,068
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Communication Sciences 21,520
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Dentistry 6,518
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,481
Veterinary Medicine 3,175
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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