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Employment Outlook

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistants prepare patients for dental examination and assist dental practitioners in providing patient treatment and care.


Average wage for

Employment Levels

Around 22,000 people are currently employed as Dental Assistants in Australia. This is set to increase slightly to 26,200 people by 2019, according to the Department of Employment.

Employment by State

36.1% of all Dental Assistants are employed in NSW. The area with the lowest number of Dental Assistants is NT, with only 0.7%.

Gender Split

This is a very female dominated industry with 1.9% of Dental Assistants being male and 98.1% female.

Age Brackets

The most popular age for people working as Dental Assistants is 25-34 years old, with 27.6%. A small percentage (2.9%) of people get into this career path older, aged 55-59. There is also a number of people who enjoy a career as Dental Assistants, with 18% aged 45-54.

Hours Worked

Dental Assistants work an average of 36.3 hours a week which is 4.6 hours lower than the average for all occupations.

Education Level

The majority of Dental Assistants have a Certificate III/IV qualification (46.3%) or are at a Year 12 level (26.1%). 65.7% of people have a Cert III or higher, whilst 34.3% have a qualification which is Year 12 or lower.

Dental Assistant Duties & Tasks

  • Receiving and preparing patients
  • Arranging and handing medication, instruments, and other dental aides for the practitioner
  • Assisting with suction devices and water sprays
  • Performing routine equipment maintenance
  • Advise patients on dental health education and post-operative care
  • Perform billing, reception and other clerical tasks



*The information provided on this page is from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website. All salary ranges are from Payscale. Where jobs are not exact matches, job areas have been used. This information is to be used as a guide only.