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REGISTERED DENTAL ASSISTANT: I'm Really Happy Doing What I Do

About this video 

Edwina works at a dental office specializing in servicing children.
Her first career was working as a meat clerk, and although the benefits and pay were terrific, she says working weekends was difficult for her as a mom. A friend encouraged Edwina to become a dental assistant.

Job Title: Registered Dental Assistant
Employer: Berkeley Children Dentistry

Job Summary: Dental Assistants

Job Description

Dental assistants have many tasks, ranging from patient care to record keeping, in a dental office. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists' offices where they work.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $50,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
25 to 35 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Organizational skills, People skills, Likes working with hands

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
View Detailed Career Data
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='220'>I'm</span> <span m='320'>a</span> <span m='595'>registered</span> <span m='870'>dental</span> <span m='960'>assistant,</span> <span m='1790'>and</span> <span m='2190'>I</span> <span m='2250'>work</span> <span m='2660'>at</span> <span m='2780'>a</span> <span m='3366'>pediatric</span> <span m='3812'>dentist</span> <span m='4035'>office</span> <span m='4258'>in</span> <span m='5150'>Berkeley.</span> <span m='5875'>I'm</span> <span m='6150'>really</span> <span m='6500'>happy</span> <span m='6910'>doing</span> <span m='7310'>what</span> <span m='7460'>I</span> <span m='7570'>do.</span> <span m='7970'>I</span> <span m='8109'>love</span> <span m='8510'>children.</span> </p><p><span m='9460'>Oh,</span> <span m='9900'>I</span> <span m='10560'>do</span> <span m='11230'>coronal</span> <span m='11540'>polishing,</span> <span m='12320'>which</span> <span m='12590'>is</span> <span m='13150'>cleaning</span> <span m='13630'>of</span> <span m='13720'>the</span> <span m='13870'>teeth.</span> <span m='14600'>I</span> <span m='14810'>assist</span> <span m='15000'>the</span> <span m='15240'>dentist</span> <span m='16630'>with</span> <span m='17000'>fillings</span> <span m='18290'>and</span> <span m='18650'>whatever</span> <span m='19070'>sealants.</span> <span m='19950'>There's</span> <span m='20500'>all</span> <span m='20750'>different</span> <span m='21130'>kinds</span> <span m='21470'>of</span> <span m='21710'>aspects</span> <span m='22470'>to</span> <span m='22520'>my</span> <span m='22710'>job.</span> <span m='23180'>I</span> <span m='23380'>might</span> <span m='23630'>even</span> <span m='23960'>have</span> <span m='24090'>to</span> <span m='24220'>do</span> <span m='24380'>sterilization,</span> <span m='25740'>which</span> <span m='26050'>you</span> <span m='26170'>learn</span> <span m='26540'>when</span> <span m='26700'>you</span> <span m='26820'>go</span> <span m='26990'>to</span> <span m='27080'>school.</span> <span m='27550'>I</span> <span m='27610'>went</span> <span m='27800'>to</span> <span m='27880'>Contra</span> <span m='28250'>Costa</span> <span m='28600'>College.</span> <span m='29690'>And</span> <span m='30060'>it's</span> <span m='30380'>very</span> <span m='30690'>extensive,</span> <span m='31402'>the</span> <span m='31970'>education</span> <span m='32810'>that</span> <span m='33280'>you get</span> <span m='33750'>there.</span> </p><p><span m='34220'>It's</span> <span m='34490'>really</span> <span m='34900'>fun.</span> <span m='35160'>You</span> <span m='35480'>get</span> <span m='35740'>to</span> <span m='35870'>meet</span> <span m='36410'>children</span> <span m='36940'>from</span> <span m='37400'>maybe</span> <span m='37790'>one</span> <span m='38570'>or</span> <span m='38830'>a</span> <span m='38880'>few</span> <span m='39140'>months</span> <span m='39750'>to</span> <span m='40930'>when</span> <span m='41090'>they</span> <span m='41210'>first</span> <span m='41570'>get</span> <span m='41845'>teeth</span> <span m='42120'>until</span> <span m='42490'>they</span> <span m='42620'>get</span> <span m='42830'>about</span> <span m='43340'>20,</span> <span m='43740'>25,</span> <span m='44140'>they're</span> <span m='44730'>out</span> <span m='44840'>of</span> <span m='44960'>college.</span> <span m='45335'>It's</span> <span m='45710'>just</span> <span m='46030'>fun.</span> <span m='46730'>You</span> <span m='46800'>get</span> <span m='47040'>to</span> <span m='47140'>know</span> <span m='47360'>a</span> <span m='47430'>lot</span> <span m='47870'>about</span> <span m='48190'>the</span> <span m='48310'>children.</span> <span m='49240'>And</span> <span m='49450'>you</span> <span m='49540'>meet</span> <span m='49730'>their</span> <span m='49870'>parents,</span> <span m='50420'>which</span> <span m='50760'>are</span> <span m='51020'>really</span> <span m='51370'>interesting</span> <span m='51970'>also.</span> <span m='52440'>It's</span> <span m='52610'>just</span> <span m='52915'>fun.</span> <span m='53220'>I</span> <span m='53280'>love</span> <span m='53640'>my</span> <span m='53920'>job.</span> </p><p><span m='54740'>Well,</span> <span m='54900'>I</span> <span m='55040'>started</span> <span m='55580'>out</span> <span m='55740'>in</span> <span m='55800'>retail</span> <span m='56310'>clerks</span> <span m='56710'>in</span> <span m='56850'>the</span> <span m='56920'>meat</span> <span m='57210'>department.</span> <span m='57465'>I</span> <span m='57720'>was a</span> <span m='58100'>meat</span> <span m='58480'>clerk.</span> <span m='59360'>And</span> <span m='60550'>the</span> <span m='60790'>benefits</span> <span m='61390'>were</span> <span m='61700'>terrific.</span> <span m='62580'>The</span> <span m='62660'>pay</span> <span m='63030'>was</span> <span m='63780'>terrific.</span> <span m='64489'>But</span> <span m='64690'>you</span> <span m='64810'>worked</span> <span m='65110'>Saturdays</span> <span m='65585'>and</span> <span m='66060'>Sundays.</span> <span m='66415'>And</span> <span m='66770'>I</span> <span m='66920'>got</span> <span m='67200'>kind</span> <span m='67390'>of</span> <span m='67480'>tired</span> <span m='67660'>of</span> <span m='68080'>that,</span> <span m='68920'>because</span> <span m='68995'>I</span> <span m='69070'>had</span> <span m='69260'>children</span> <span m='69760'>at</span> <span m='69890'>home,</span> <span m='70310'>and</span> <span m='70320'>I</span> <span m='70360'>would</span> <span m='70530'>like</span> <span m='70820'>to</span> <span m='71020'>spend</span> <span m='71465'>the</span> <span m='71910'>weekend</span> <span m='72058'>with</span> <span m='72206'>them.</span> </p><p><span m='73390'>And</span> <span m='73780'>my</span> <span m='73920'>husband</span> <span m='74400'>is</span> <span m='74560'>a</span> <span m='74750'>butcher,</span> <span m='75520'>so</span> <span m='75950'>I</span> <span m='76070'>wanted</span> <span m='76450'>to</span> <span m='76540'>be</span> <span m='76750'>at</span> <span m='76840'>home.</span> <span m='77250'>Because</span> <span m='77470'>he</span> <span m='77630'>worked</span> <span m='78020'>on</span> <span m='78220'>Saturdays</span> <span m='78590'>and</span> <span m='78960'>Sundays.</span> <span m='79490'>So</span> <span m='80310'>then</span> <span m='80620'>I</span> <span m='80730'>had</span> <span m='80940'>a</span> <span m='81000'>girlfriend</span> <span m='81860'>that</span> <span m='82050'>went</span> <span m='82250'>to</span> <span m='82330'>school,</span> <span m='82700'>and</span> <span m='82880'>she</span> <span m='83060'>said,</span> <span m='83310'>Edwina,</span> <span m='83767'>you'd</span> <span m='84224'>be</span> <span m='84681'>perfect</span> <span m='85140'>at</span> <span m='85300'>becoming</span> <span m='85730'>a dental</span> <span m='85980'>assistant.</span> <span m='86650'>So</span> <span m='87400'>I</span> <span m='87450'>went</span> <span m='87620'>to</span> <span m='87710'>Contra</span> <span m='87990'>Costa</span> <span m='88330'>College,</span> <span m='88890'>tried</span> <span m='89340'>out,</span> <span m='89720'>and</span> <span m='90140'>it</span> <span m='90290'>worked</span> <span m='90650'>out</span> <span m='90950'>wonderful.</span> </p><p><span m='92190'>I</span> <span m='92230'>wish</span> <span m='92560'>I</span> <span m='92630'>would've</span> <span m='92970'>known</span> <span m='93775'>that</span> <span m='94050'>you</span> <span m='94250'>do</span> <span m='94690'>not</span> <span m='95590'>have</span> <span m='96130'>a</span> <span m='96380'>pension</span> <span m='96680'>plan.</span> <span m='97020'>That's</span> <span m='97280'>something</span> <span m='97680'>that</span> <span m='97920'>you</span> <span m='98430'>have</span> <span m='98510'>to</span> <span m='100740'>make</span> <span m='101430'>preparations</span> <span m='102500'>for,</span> <span m='102750'>although</span> <span m='103110'>I</span> <span m='103220'>do</span> <span m='103570'>have</span> <span m='103950'>a</span> <span m='104900'>retirement</span> <span m='105570'>plan</span> <span m='105910'>with</span> <span m='106090'>the</span> <span m='106200'>butcher's</span> <span m='106536'>union,</span> <span m='107550'>which</span> <span m='107700'>is</span> <span m='107850'>great.</span> <span m='108670'>And</span> <span m='108830'>I'm</span> <span m='108950'>65</span> <span m='109790'>now,</span> <span m='110020'>and</span> <span m='110210'>I'm</span> <span m='110310'>still</span> <span m='110680'>doing</span> <span m='111030'>it.</span> <span m='111200'>So</span> <span m='111490'>it's</span> <span m='111790'>fun.</span> <span m='112640'>It's</span> <span m='112810'>really</span> <span m='113260'>fun.</span> </p><p><span m='114060'>There's</span> <span m='114300'>nothing</span> <span m='114850'>that</span> <span m='117020'>I</span> <span m='117180'>would</span> <span m='117410'>have</span> <span m='117540'>foreseen</span> <span m='118480'>in</span> <span m='118650'>the</span> <span m='118820'>near</span> <span m='119080'>future</span> <span m='119620'>that--</span> <span m='120520'>it's</span> <span m='120720'>just</span> <span m='120950'>great.</span> <span m='121280'>Because</span> <span m='121630'>I</span> <span m='121730'>work</span> <span m='122250'>four</span> <span m='122460'>days</span> <span m='122780'>a</span> <span m='122840'>week,</span> <span m='123480'>Monday</span> <span m='123740'>through</span> <span m='123930'>Thursday,</span> <span m='125020'>some</span> <span m='125370'>Fridays,</span> <span m='126620'>which</span> <span m='126820'>is</span> <span m='126970'>great.</span> <span m='128340'>You</span> <span m='128860'>don't</span> <span m='129169'>work</span> <span m='129669'>at</span> <span m='129900'>night.</span> <span m='130840'>You</span> <span m='131000'>don't</span> <span m='131250'>work</span> <span m='131520'>weekends.</span> <span m='132700'>And</span> <span m='132850'>if</span> <span m='132950'>you</span> <span m='133080'>do,</span> <span m='133250'>you</span> <span m='133410'>get</span> <span m='133570'>extra</span> <span m='134067'>pay,</span> <span m='134564'>because</span> <span m='135061'>you</span> <span m='135560'>can</span> <span m='135900'>ask</span> <span m='136030'>for that.</span> <span m='136360'>But</span> <span m='136920'>it</span> <span m='137070'>would</span> <span m='137160'>have</span> <span m='137240'>been</span> <span m='137430'>nice</span> <span m='137750'>to</span> <span m='137860'>have</span> <span m='138210'>more</span> <span m='138660'>of</span> <span m='138860'>a</span> <span m='138930'>pension</span> <span m='139440'>plan.</span> </p>","file":{"id":276812,"video_id":"2698842896001","name":"72581290","duration":140522,"thumbnail_url":null}});