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The 20 Highest Paying Cities for Dental Assistants in 2020

These U.S. Cities Pay Dental Assistants the Highest Salaries Based on Cost of Living

Dental Assisting is one of the fastest-growing jobs in healthcare. It’s a career that offers job security, decent pay, and hands-on skills. Many people who enter this field prefer to work with their hands rather than at a desk. They also have an eye for detail, maintain impressive dexterity, and support dentists while patients are treated.

Not only have Dental Assistants seen a recent surge in employment, they can also receive competitive salaries without having to spend years in school. If you would like to learn more about this profession, you can read our comprehensive guide on how to become a Dental Assistant (DA).

Dental Assisting is truly an essential profession. However, serving others should not prevent you from planning ahead by researching all the benefits and average pay for DA’s. To help you in your research, this article will cover the best paying cities for Dental Assistants across the U.S.

Before we delve into the top paying cities, however, let’s begin with an overview of the top paying states for Dental Assistants as well as the average Dental Assistant salary nationwide.

Dental Assistant Salary

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Dental Assistants earn an average salary of about $40,000 per year, and an average hourly wage of $19.00 per hour.

These rates can vary depending on your employer, experience, and location. For instance, DAs working in nursing care facilities make an average salary of about $45,000, while those working in doctors’ offices earn an average salary of about $37,000.

Here’s a closer look at employment and wages for Dental Assistants by industry and by state.

Highest Paying Industries for Dental Assistants

Industry Average Hourly Pay Average Annual Salary
Nursing Care Facilities $21.51 $44,730
Specialty Hospitals $21.39 $44,500
Trade Schools & Colleges $20.60 $42,850
Outpatient Care Centers $19.16 $39,850
Dental Offices $19.12 $39,770
Physicians’ Offices $17.78 $36,980

Highest Paying States for Dental Assistants

A Dental Assistant’s pay often varies by location. For instance, here are the top five paying states for Dental Assistants, along with the average salary and hourly wage for each location:

  1. Minnesota:
    • Average Salary: $49,880
    • Average Hourly Pay: $23.98
  1. Washington D.C.:
    • Average Salary: $49,220
    • Average Hourly Pay: $23.66
  1. New Hampshire:
    • Average Salary: $48,760
    • Average Hourly Pay: $23.44
  1. Alaska:
    • Average Salary: $47,330
    • Average Hourly Pay: $22.75
  1. North Dakota:
    • Average Salary: $46,640
    • Average Hourly Pay: $22.43

More to a Dental Assistant’s Salary Than You Might Think

When it comes to quality of life, there are numerous things to consider, and where you chose to work plays a big part.

Although it may feel overwhelming, a little bit of research can go a long way.

For example, we wanted to take a granular look at the highest paying U.S. cities for Dental Assistants. We did this by evaluating their average salaries as compared to their cost-of-living.

Methodology

We pulled the cost-of-living index (COLI) values for each city in our study from Expatistan. Average Dental Assisting salaries and other statistics were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average cost-of-living index (COLI) for all the U.S. cities we compared was about 162. So, if a city had a COLI of 120, then it was 26% cheaper to live there than the average city. Based on the COLI for each city, we adjusted their annual wage to account for the difference in cost of living.

Based on each city’s cost-of-living index, average salaries were increased or reduced proportionately to better measure overall DA compensation and quality-of-life in each respective city.

The Highest Paying Cities for Dental Assistants

Here you’ll find the 20 best cities for Dental Assistants in 2020 based on their cost-of-living index, starting with the highest paying city of them all!

1. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

First up on our list of highest paying cities is Cedar Rapids, the second-largest city in Iowa and the county seat of Linn County. This city’s growth can partially be attributed to its status as an economic hub of the state. It’s also a center for arts and culture, featuring destinations like the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Paramount Theatre, and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance.

Cedar Rapids has even ranked as the #1 best place in America for children, five years in a row! This is likely due to a low crime rate and great school system. In 2020, they were recognized as the #2 most recession-resistant city, the most caring city in Iowa, and #11 in the top American cities to live in after the pandemic.

Plus, Cedar Rapids is home to Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital. St. Luke’s emergency department treats over 55,000 patients each year and serves as the area’s only Level III Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mercy has also ranked as the best hospital in Iowa or one of the top three. It’s a nonprofit, acute-care facility with a level III trauma center.

There are several reasons to choose Cedar Rapids for your Dental Assisting career. In addition to its notable healthcare system, Dental Assistants in this city earn close to $48,000 on average. The top-earning DAs can even receive salaries as high as $62,860 or more. Given the prized location, growing health systems, and high wages, it’s no wonder that Cedar Rapids, IA is number one on our list.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Cedar Rapids, IA?

  • Dental Assistants in Cedar Rapids make an average salary of $47,760.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $62,860 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 120
  • The cost of living in Cedar Rapids is 26% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its cost of living raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $64,515.

2. Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro is the third-most populous city in North Carolina and the largest city in the Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. Three major interstate highways in North Carolina were built to intersect at this city: Interstate 40, Interstate 85, and Interstate 73.

In addition to its convenient location, Greensboro is known for many notable attractions. Some of the most popular ones include the Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe water park, the Greensboro Science Center, the International Civil Rights Museum, and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which hosts sporting events, concerts, and more.

Greensboro might be known for these activities—not to mention seventy plus miles of hiking trails—but education and health service are among its top industries. The city can also boast a cost of living that is much cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study. Because of this, a Dental Assistant’s (adjusted) pay could reach over $50,000 per year. This makes Greensboro quite an attractive destination for aspiring Dental Assistants.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Greensboro, NC?

  • Dental Assistants in Greensboro make an average salary of $42,730.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $57,350 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 121
  • The cost of living in Greensboro is 25% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $57,243.

3. Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota

Why Fargo? North Dakota Tourism said it best: “Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and the home of Football Championship Subdivision national powerhouse, North Dakota State University. The metro area also has several colleges, an active arts community, and much to see and do.”

Fargo is a cultural, retail, healthcare, educational, and industrial center for eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. The largest employers in the city include Sanford Health and Essentia Health. Forbes also ranked it as the best small city in the nation to start a business or a career.

Not only can you seek work in this flourishing city, you can also put down roots there for a reasonable price. The cost of living in Fargo is 13% cheaper than the average of the other cities in our study. On average, Dental Assistants can earn almost $50,000 per year. As the region continues to grow, so does the demand for more dental and healthcare providers.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Fargo, ND?

  • Dental Assistants in Fargo make an average salary of $48,180.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $60,030 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 141
  • The cost of living in Fargo is 13% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $55,389.

4. Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota

Known as the “Twin Cities,” Minneapolis – St. Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix rivers in east-central Minnesota. Minneapolis is the most populous city in Minnesota, and Saint Paul is the state capital. Their unique urban cultures caused an observer to state that “St. Paul is the last city of the East; Minneapolis the first city of the West.”

Like many other cities on our list, the Twin Cities is a hub of performing arts, outdoor activities, and professional sporting events. It maintains a varied roster of companies for its highest-ranking industries. United Health Group is top of that list!

Thanks to a thriving economy and diverse population, the Twin Cities has a lot to offer dental workers. Although cost of living isn’t much cheaper than the average of our other cities, Dental Assistants in Minneapolis – St. Paul still enjoy an average salary of $54,510.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN?

  • Dental Assistants in Minneapolis – St. Paul make an average salary of $54,510.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $64,810 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 162
  • The cost of living in Minneapolis – St. Paul is 0.10% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $54,543.

5. Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, MissouriThis picture was taken from the official city website of Springfield.

To give you a visual of Springfield, picture a mainly flat city with some rolling hills and cliffs crowning its south, east, and north sections. Springfield sits on a plateau that extends from Northwest Arkansas to Central Missouri. While it lies on the limits of a humid subtropical climate, Springfield is known for having some of the wildest weather in the United States. Want an example? Over the course of two days, the temperature went from 81 degrees Fahrenheit to falling snow the next evening.

Aside from an exciting weather report, Springfield has access to interactive science exhibits at the Discovery Center of Springfield and exotic animals at the nearby Dickerson Park Zoo. Plus, Fantastic Caverns runs a tram through caves overflowing with glittering stone, and the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park maintains scenic trails and botanical gardens.

If that wasn’t enough, Springfield’s economy is based on healthcare, manufacturing, retail, education, and tourism. Mercy Health System is the number one employer, while CoxHealth, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, schools, and government sectors rank highly amongst their top employers. The low cost of living and economic hotspot raises a Dental Assistant’s (adjusted) pay from about $39,000 to more than $54,000 per year.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Springfield, MO?

  • Dental Assistants in Springfield make an average salary of $38,870.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $49,760 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 116
  • The cost of living in Springfield is 28% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $54,317.

6. Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown is a transformed city that sits on the Mahoning River and lies about 65 miles from Cleveland. Previously known as a major center for steel production, Youngstown has since undergone tremendous change to become a hub for culture and entertainment. Some notable places include the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater and a new downtown hotel in the historic Stambaugh Building. Other top sights are Mill Creek Park, Fellows Riverside Gardens, and Lanterman’s Mill.

Within the past decade, Forbes ranked Youngstown the fourth best city in the U.S. to raise a family. The article citied its local schools, low crime rates, cost of living, and property rates. Since their cost of living is nearly 30% cheaper than average in our study, it makes sense that Dental Assistants often benefit from higher salaries and affordable homes.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Youngstown, OH?

  • Dental Assistants in Youngstown make an average salary of $38,310.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $53,390 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 117
  • The cost of living in Youngstown is 28% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $53,076.

7. Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Niche gives us a great view into the daily life of a Lawrence dweller: “Living in Lawrence offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Lawrence there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Lawrence and residents tend to have moderate political views. The public schools in Lawrence are highly rated.”

This city of Lawrence lies in the northeastern sector of Kansas, sitting between two rivers and bordered by Interstate 70. It’s known as a college town that’s home to both the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. A well-rounded place, Lawrence houses several historic sites and museums, not to mention arts, cultural, and sports centers. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is even ranked nationally in the top-five percent for heart attack care. Without a doubt, Lawrence is a fantastic choice for dental and healthcare professionals.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Lawrence, KS?

  • Dental Assistants in Lawrence make an average salary of $43,430.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $55,940 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 134
  • The cost of living in Lawrence is 17% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $52,536.

8. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is a vibrant city that’s known for its 19th-century architecture, Cincinnati Zoo, and the Cincinnati Museum Center. The city is also a major economic and cultural hotspot of the Cincinnati metropolitan area, which is the fastest growing economic power in the Midwestern United States. Incredibly, Cincinnati is also within a day’s drive of nearly half of the United States populace.

Residents benefit from powerhouse sports teams, ambitious architectural projects, historic public parks, and large performing arts venues. One such venue is the Aronoff Center, a facility that hosts touring Broadway shows every year.

In addition to the city’s long and varied history, residents also benefit from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which has been called the leading institute for community health in Ohio. Not only is the cost of living significantly low, but Dental Assistants make an average salary that ranges between $42,000 and $60,000 per year. With its ideal location and budding health sector, Cincinnati is a city to watch.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Cincinnati, OH?

  • Dental Assistants in Cincinnati make an average salary of $42,280.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $60,510 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 135
  • The cost of living in Cincinnati is 17% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $50,766.

9. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Often referred to as Indy, Indianapolis is the state capital and most-populated city in the state of Indiana. Two other nicknames highlight its historical ties to transportation: the “Crossroads of America” and “Railroad City.” Indianapolis is renowned for hosting the world’s biggest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500. Both visitors and residents are usually familiar with its amateur sports and auto racing. However, the city is also home to three Fortune 500 companies, major league sports clubs, four university campuses, and various museums.

Not only is Indianapolis the 29th largest economic region in the U.S., but this growth is primarily rooted in finance and insurance, manufacturing, business services, education and healthcare, government, and wholesale trade. Despite these perks, the cost of living is still very reasonable. The top-earning Dental Assistants can receive salaries reaching $60,000 or more, per year.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Indianapolis, IN?

  • Dental Assistants in Indianapolis make an average salary of $44,420.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $60,980.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 145
  • The cost of living in Indianapolis is 11% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $49,658.

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

If you like oak trees, fine dining, and sports, then this is the city for you! Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina. It’s well known for its universities and technology institutions. In fact, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham have been dubbed the Research Triangle for the influx of scholarly/technological hotspots. Raleigh is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

In recent years, Raleigh has experienced a surge in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Several major companies are based in the city, including PRA Health Sciences, MAKO Surgical Corp., and the American Board of Anesthesiology. Top employers largely feature education or healthcare organizations.

And did we mention the cost of living is cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study? Not bad for a city where Dental Assistants can earn as much as $56,000 or more, per year.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Raleigh, NC?

  • Dental Assistants in Raleigh make an average salary of $44,200.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $56,520 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 146
  • The cost of living in Raleigh is 10% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $49,073.

11. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville lies within the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. It’s widely known for its historic architecture and vibrant art scene. Plus, it’s home to the Downtown Art District, which is lined with galleries and museums.

When they’re not taking advantage of year-round access to hiking trails and exhilarating views, Asheville residents can enjoy foot, trolley, or zipline tours. There are also several culinary and shopping destinations, not to mention attractions like Asheville’s music festivals.

In the city’s 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Mission Health System ranked as the largest employer in Asheville. Several other “Education & Health Services” institutions also ranked highly on the list. Like the other cities on our list, Asheville is no slouch when it comes to reasonable cost of living or affordable pay for Dental Assistants.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Asheville, NC?

  • Dental Assistants in Asheville make an average salary of $42,330.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $51,230 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 141
  • The cost of living in Asheville is 13% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,664.

12. Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke is nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Many know it for the Roanoke Star, a bright landmark that overlooks the city from Mill Mountain. Surrounding areas feature trails, picnic spots, and the Mill Mountain Zoo. In the downtown area, you’ll find the Taubman Museum of Art.

Divided by the Roanoke River, Roanoke is also the commercial and cultural center of Southwest Virginia and parts of Southern West Virginia. In addition, the city is the “healthcare and retail hub of a large area, driving the expansion of Carilion Health System and Valley View Mall.”

A Dental Assistant’s average salary might be a little lower in Roanoke, but thanks to the cost of living, its raised to over $48,000 a year, or higher.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Roanoke, VA?

  • Dental Assistants in Roanoke make an average salary of $39,210.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,180 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 131
  • The cost of living in Roanoke is 19% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,518.

13. Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Spokane is a city with gorgeous views in Washington state. Did you know that it’s the birthplace of Father’s Day? The “Lilac City” lies near Spokane River, west of the Rocky Mountain foothills and 92 miles south of the Canada-U.S. border. Visitors are often attracted to Riverfront Park, where cable cars offer views over Spokane Falls.

This city also features the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. It explores the area’s history using exhibits on art, culture, and Native American heritage. Spokane’s economy has seen some success in the medical and health science fields. In 2013, the top employers in Spokane were the State of Washington, Spokane Public Schools, and the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Spokane, WA?

  • Dental Assistants in Spokane make an average salary of $42,570.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $53,270 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 143
  • The cost of living in Spokane is 12% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,255.

14. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico  This picture was taken from the official city website of Albuquerque.

Albuquerque is New Mexico’s biggest city. It sits in the high desert and houses a modern downtown core that contrasts with Old Town Albuquerque. You can find numerous historic adobe buildings, such as San Felipe de Neri Church. There are also several museums and shops that sell Native American handcrafts. Nearby, The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center recounts the land’s tribal history.

Often called “The Duke City” or “Burque,” Albuquerque is bordered by the Sandia Mountains and is split in two, thanks to the Rio Grande river. Even though some visitors may find the air a little hard to breathe—it boasts one of the highest elevations of any major city in the nation!—the economy of Albuquerque revolves around science, medicine, technology, commerce, education, entertainment, and culture outlets. Due to its size, the city also features a remarkably diverse restaurant scene from many global cuisines.

When you look at the cost of living—not to mention the adjusted average income for Dental Assistants—it’s no wonder why so many professionals choose Albuquerque.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Albuquerque, NM?

  • Dental Assistants in Albuquerque make an average salary of $38,080.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,270 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 128
  • The cost of living in Albuquerque is 21% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,224.

15. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Not only is Louisville the largest city in Kentucky, but it’s the 29th most-populous city in the United States. Louisville lies on the Ohio River, right along Indiana’s border. In present day, the city is recognized as the home of celebrated boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, three Fortune 500 companies, and the University of Louisville and its Cardinals.

This fun, unique city boasts a cheaper cost of living, but Dental Assistants here can earn over $57,000 or more, per year. Like many of the places on our list, Louisville is a prosperous city to watch.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Louisville, KY?

  • Dental Assistants in Louisville make an average salary of $40,090.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $57,160.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 135
  • The cost of living in Louisville is 17% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,137.

16. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City (OKC) is both the capital and the largest city in Oklahoma. Many know OKC for its cowboy culture, capitol complex, and surrounding oil wells. It lies along one of the major corridors into Texas and Mexico. It’s also a three-hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, which is the economic and cultural hub of North Texas.

The economy of Oklahoma City has expanded to include sectors like information technology, health services, and administration. As of 2020, some of the city’s top employers included the State of Oklahoma, Integris Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Mercy Health Center, OU Medicine, and SSM Health Care.

It’s important to note that the cost of living in OKC is 20% cheaper than average, when compared to all the other cities from our list!

How much do Dental Assistants make in Oklahoma City, OK?

  • Dental Assistants in Oklahoma City make an average salary of $38,300.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $50,900 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 129
  • The cost of living in Oklahoma City is 20% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $48,127.

17. Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be America’s smallest state, but “Lil’ Rhodey” still makes quite a splash. Providence, the capital city of Rhode Island, has roots in American art and silver. It’s also home to renowned Brown University as well as the Rhode Island School of Design. If you choose to visit, you’ll come across 18th- and 19th-century homes on the streets of College Hill. Waterplace Park serves as the backdrop for the WaterFire art installation, which lights up the nearby tidal basin during summer and special events.

Today, Providence fosters eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which have redirected the city’s economy toward service industries. One of their most prominent hospitals is Rhode Island Hospital, the largest general acute care hospital in the state, not to mention the Level I Trauma Center for Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, and parts of Connecticut.

Our study has found that the cost of living in Providence is cheaper than the average of all the other cities. The highest paid Dental Assistants in Providence can earn salaries reaching $60,000 per year, or higher.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Providence, RI?

  • Dental Assistants in Providence make an average salary of $45,960.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $60,170 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 156
  • The cost of living in Providence is 4% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $47,756.

18. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Looking for a city with sandy beaches, rich waterways, lots of golf, and eclectic neighborhoods? Jacksonville is Florida’s most populous city as well as a major military and civilian deep-water port. People from this city are often called “Jacksonvillians” or “Jaxsons” (also spelled “Jaxons”). Their local economy is influenced by services in banking, insurance, healthcare, and logistics. Tourism is another key factor in the Jacksonville economy.

Major players in the Jacksonville healthcare industry have created quite an extensive workforce. They include but are not limited to St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Baptist Health, and UF Health Jacksonville. Plus, Nemours Children’s Clinic and Mayo Clinic Jacksonville both draw lots of patients.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Jacksonville, FL?

  • Dental Assistants in Jacksonville make an average salary of $40,870.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $51,560 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 139
  • The cost of living in Jacksonville is 14% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $47,661.

19. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska’s largest city, sits on the Missouri River near the Iowa border. In addition to being a stop on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, it’s also known for its pioneer history, several museums, and cultural centers. Omaha is also home to one of the world’s best zoos. Visit Omaha said it best: “The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is more like a biological park, dedicated to conservation around the globe and home to the world’s largest indoor desert, world’s largest glazed geodesic dome, and North America’s largest indoor rainforest.”

Omaha is also on the forefront of the farm-to-fork movement and has maintained a thriving music scene since the ‘30s. Plus, billionaire Warren Buffett brings thousands of shareholders to the city for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

According to the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, the largest regional employers include CHI Health, Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medical Center, and University of Nebraska Medical Center. Thanks to a cheaper cost of living, the adjusted pay for Dental Assistants in Omaha increases from $40,950 to $47,560, per year.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Omaha, NE?

  • Dental Assistants in Omaha make an average salary of $40,490.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $53,960 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 138
  • The cost of living in Omaha is 15% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $47,560.

20. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Last but certainly not least is Memphis, Tennessee. Perhaps best known as the birthplace of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, visitors of Memphis often check out attractions like Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Speaking of Elvis Presley, he, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash all recorded albums at the legendary—and local!—Sun Studio.

This famous city lies on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee. It houses a variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods. A major site of the American civil rights movement, the city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum. It’s also one of the country’s foremost commercial centers in transportation and logistics. Truly, Memphis is a center of commerce, education, media, and entertainment.

The region supports a number of hospitals, such as the Methodist and Baptist Memorial health systems, two of the largest private hospitals in the country. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare was even the fourth largest employer as of 2018.

How much do Dental Assistants make in Memphis, TN?

  • Dental Assistants in Memphis make an average salary of $37,110.
  • For some people, in the 90th percentile, salaries can reach as high as $57,040 or more.
  • Cost of Living Index (COLI): 127
  • The cost of living in Memphis is 22% cheaper than the average of all the cities in our study.
  • The adjusted average income based on its affordability raises a Dental Assistant’s pay to $47,366.

Take the Next Step Toward a Rewarding Career

Unitek College offers several programs for aspiring healthcare professionals. One of these options includes a Dental Assistant program that you can complete in as little as 10 months.

Contact us today to learn more about our courses and tuition assistance options.

Take your first step toward a rewarding career in healthcare!