Edmonds College will launch a dental assistant program starting fall quarter of 2022, in which students can earn a certificate in as little as nine months. The dental assistant program is the latest under the Allied Health Education umbrella at Edmonds, joining medical lab sciences, patient care services, pharmacy practice, behavioral health, and health care management.
“I’m excited for this expansion of our Allied Health programs, which offers another pathway into health professions for a diverse population of students,” said Karen Townsend, dean of health and human services at Edmonds College.
The entry-level dental assistant program is designed for working adults and those changing careers. Classes are held in the evening, and some are held online.
Students will learn clinical and laboratory procedures, dental sciences and materials, administrative duties, head and neck anatomy, dental instruments, equipment and chairside procedures, manipulation of dental materials, x-ray techniques, disinfection and sterilization procedures, and management of medical and dental emergencies.
The Pacific Northwest is one of the hottest markets for dental assistants. According to a Lightcast study in 2021, King and Snohomish counties had nearly double the number of job openings compared to the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for dental assistants is expected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030. Dental assistants in the region have a median starting salary of $48,000.
“Edmonds College understands the challenges of the industries in our community, and we strive to meet their needs with innovative programs that train students quickly,” said Edmonds College President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Dental assistants are in high demand, so the commencement of this program comes at a time where we can help the industry meet a regional need.”
More information on how to enroll in the dental assistant program can be found at: edmonds.edu/programs/ahe/dental-assistant.