Completing a dental office training program can lead to an administrative career in a private dental practice or dental clinic. It can also provide a stepping stone to more advanced positions in the field for professionals willing to devote time and resources toward earning an associate's or bachelor's degree. A number of schools offer dental office training certificate programs, some of which can be found partially or fully online. Students will need a high school education and experience in English and computer courses to apply.
Dental Office Certificate Program
In addition to improving their oral and written communication skills, students learn fundamental processes such as scheduling, reception, billing, filing, insurance form processing and patient records management. Students also acquire medical knowledge pertaining to dentistry. A certificate can be earned in a year or less. The following courses may be included in a certificate program:
- Dental terminology
- Dental clinical procedures
- Computers and business applications
- Dental office administration
- Law and ethics in dentistry
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
People who earn a dental office certificate are qualified for entry-level positions as office managers in dental practices. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 8% growth in employment for these types of office administrators between 2014 and 2024. Continuing improvements in office technology, increased emphasis on preventive dental care for children and the increased dental care needs of middle-aged and older patients will be among the factors driving growth. As of May 2015, the BLS reports that first-line office supervisors, such as dental office managers, earned a median annual salary of $52,630.
Continuing Education Information
Certificate holders interested in patient care may consider earning a dental hygienist or dental lab technician associate's degree. Some schools may accept certificate program credits in transfer. Dental hygienists and lab technicians need a state license to practice.
Certificates in dental office training prepare students to work in dental offices performing administrative tasks to run the day-to-day operations within the business. Graduates from these programs can advance their education by enrolling in traditional associate's or bachelor's degrees.