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Dental Assistant School: Questions and Answers

Getting into dental assistant school could be the career you are looking for

Not everyone wants to go to college. A four-year college may not fit into your finances or your timeframe. If you are hoping to get out into the workforce more quickly, waiting four years might be too long. If you are looking for career training that can be completed quickly, you may want to consider looking into dental assistant schools. Most training programs can be completed in less than one year, and can prepare you for entry level positions in an important healthcare field.

The Harris School of Business provides dental assistant training at 3 conveniently located campuses in Upper Darby, PA (near Philadelphia), Wilmington, DE and Voorhees, NJ. Students often call us with questions, and in this post, we are offering you answers to five of our frequently asked questions:

Question 1: How do I find good dental assistant schools?
There are several places where you can get good dental assistant training. Community colleges, trade schools, and private career training schools are all possible options. Do an Internet search for schools near you, or try the College Navigator to search schools by the programs they offer. (Use the “Browse for Programs” feature.) Once you find some schools in your area, be careful when making your choice. Take tours of the schools, and ask these important questions:

  • Is the school accredited? Is the program accredited?
  • How long has the school been in operation? How long has it offered dental assistant training?
  • How many months does it take to complete the program?
  • When are classes offered?
  • Is there a dental lab where I will get hands-on practice?
  • Are there externship opportunities before graduation?
  • Is there a career services department to help with job placement?
  • What percentage of your graduates find jobs as dental assistants?
  • How much is tuition?
  • Is financial aid available?

The Harris School, in operation since 1965, is a private career-focused training school with small classes and dedicated instructors. Our small-school feel allows you to get plenty of instruction and hands-on practice in our dental labs. If you live in the Delaware Valley, please take a tour to see if our school meets your needs.

Question 2: What are the prerequisites? Will I be accepted?
We know that going back to school can be nerve-wracking for many people, especially if you were someone who didn’t love high school. Fortunately, we do not have many prerequisites or admissions requirements. We simply require a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. You also need to have the desire to learn and the dedication to attend your classes, study hard, and pass your exams. For some students who struggled through high school, this is their second chance to develop good study habits, work hard, and learn a marketable trade. We know you can do it!

Question 3: How long is the dental assistant training?
Full-time students who attend all of their classes, complete their homework, and pass their exams can complete the program in less than one year. A part-time evening program can take about 2 years. With your dedication and commitment, you can keep to this schedule and be ready for the workforce soon!

Question 4: How much does it cost to go to dental assistant school?
At every school you visit, you should find out about the tuition as well as the possibility of financial aid. The Harris School encourages all of its prospective students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will determine if you are eligible for financial aid. Our Financial Aid advisors are here to help, and can guide you in the right direction and help you explore all options.

Question 5: How much do dental assistants make?
Most dental assistant jobs are considered entry level positions. You can find out more about the average wages for dental assistants by reading the salary page in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Wages will vary depending on the dental practice, your years of experience, and the geographic region where you live.

To learn more about what a dental assistant does, try 5 Things to Know About Becoming a Dental Assistant. If you want to know more about our program at Harris, don’t hesitate to contact us online. Your future career could begin with us!