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2022 Dental Support Services Degree Guide

With the increasing public knowledge of important oral hygiene, Dental Support Services majors are becoming part of a fast growing occupation.

Students majoring in Dental Support Services learn how to diagnose and treat oral diseases and abnormalities while providing services that help prevent any oral issues. You will take classes in chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, genetics, psychology, and other dental related courses to gain the skills to properly conduct oral examines, cleanings, and aid in surgeries or other procedures. This degree prepares students for a career as a dental hygienist or to continue their education to become a dentist.

Along with the option to major in Dental Assisting, students have the option to specialize in Dental Hygiene, Dental Laboratory Technology, and Dental Services and Allied Professions.

Dental Support Services Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#79 Most Popular Major
8k Degrees Awarded
-23.0% Increase in Graduates

Dental Support Services was the 79th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 8,040 degrees in this year alone. This 1,852 less than the prior year, a decrease of 23.0%.

Approximately 431 colleges in the U.S. offer a dental support services degree of some kind. Our 2022 Best Dental Support Services Schools ranking analyzes 354 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for dental support services students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of dental support programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Dental Support Services

Dental Support Services professionals are responsible for checking the condition of teeth and gums to help prevent infections or other abnormalities; this means professionals should be detail oriented and conduct thorough examinations. You should be organized and ensure all medical records are in proper order and kept up to date. Students who are successful in this career also have strong interpersonal skills as they are working directly with patients and must keep them comfortable when performing procedures.

Students who pursue a degree in Dental Support Services should prepare for a full time job in a dental office. You will work with multiple patients during the day and conduct teeth and gum examinations to ensure your patients' oral health.

Students who wish to become dental hygienists or dental lab technicians must only obtain an associate's degree, although bachelor's and master's degrees are available. Those who want to pursue a career as a dentist must attend dentist school and obtain an advanced degree.

In order to practice any type of dental service, you must be licensed by the state. The requirements vary state by state, so it is important to check the laws in the state you will be practicing in.

Prior Education for a Dental Support Program

dental support services degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific dental support careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Dental Support Services Degrees

There are many different dental support degree levels. Dental Support Services programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest dental support degree you can get. Depending on the dental support services degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to dental support, with approximately 28.0% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for dental support workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 33.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate 23.9%
High School Diploma 12.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 10.9%
Master’s Degree 6.0%

About 60.2% of workers in careers related to dental support obtain at least associate degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in dental support services have received.

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This of course varies depending on which dental support career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Dental Support Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$31.9k Average Starting Salary
21% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates with a degree in Dental Support Services pursue careers in a variety of dental related services. Some graduates go on to dental school to become dentists and work at or run their own practice, while other students become dental hygienists or lab technicians.

High Growth Projected for Dental Support Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your dental support degree? Dental Support Services careers are expected to grow 21.1% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to dental support services.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Dental Assistants 396,600 19.5%
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Dental Hygienists 248,900 19.7%
Dental Laboratory Technicians 43,600 14.4%

How Much Money Do People With a Dental Support Degree Make?

Recently graduated dental support services students earned an average of $31,905 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $8,200 to as high as $76,600. As you might expect, salaries for dental support graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Dental Support Majors

Salaries for dental support services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers dental support grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Dental Hygienists $75,500
Dental Laboratory Technicians $43,180
Dental Assistants $39,770

Getting Your Dental Support Services Degree

With over 564 different dental support degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased dental support school rankings to help you with this.

Dental Support Services is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Dental Support Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Dental Hygiene/Hygienist 6,531
Dental Assisting/Assistant 1,376
Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician 97
Other Dental Services & Allied Professions 36

View All Dental Support Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 305,208
Allied Health Professions 49,265
Health & Medical Administrative Services 48,523
Public Health 35,375
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,237

View All Dental Support Related Majors >

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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