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Dental Receptionist Job Information & Duties

Dental receptionists are an essential part of any dentist's office. Learn about the skills and education required for a career in this field. See salary information and career data, and explore related job options.

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Career Information for a Dental Receptionist

A dental receptionist is responsible for greeting and assisting patients the moment they enter a dental office. Receptionists make appointments for patients and maintain their accounts. They help coordinate the dentist's schedule and bill patients and their insurance companies. Receptionists also monitor a visitor's access to the office and collect mail. Most dental receptionists use a computerized filing system to organize patient records and keep them updated.

Education High school diploma, certificate or associate's degree
Job Skills Office skills, manners and interpersonal skills
Mean Salary (2017) $29,640 for receptionists and information clerks
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% growth for receptionists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There are no postsecondary educational requirements to become a dental receptionist. Most people who enter this field have a high school diploma or GED, and on-the-job training is usually the preferred method of preparing new hires for the job. A certificate or associate's degree program in office administration, medical administration, or a related field can be beneficial, especially a program that includes training in word processing software, spreadsheets and other office applications.

Job Skills

A dental receptionist needs to know how to use typical office equipment, such as telephones, computers, fax machines, and scanners. Receptionists also need to have impeccable office manners and interpersonal skills. Dental receptionists interact with patients every day and, as a result, need to maintain a professional and friendly disposition with them at all times.

Career and Economic Outlook

With the popularity of cosmetic dentistry continuing to increase, the demand for dental professionals, including dental receptionists, is going to continue to rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all receptionists, including those who work in dental offices, will see growth in the field of about 9% from 2016-2026. The mean annual wages of receptionists and information clerks in May 2017 was $29,640. Those working in dental offices had mean salaries of $34,760 in the same year.

Alternative Career Options

Similar career options within this field include:

Dental Assistant

Not only do dental assistants work alongside dentists in surgeries and routine dental maintenance procedures, but they may schedule appointments and organize dental records. Depending on state requirements, dental assistants may need to complete an accredited program and obtain state licensure. Employment growth was predicted to reach 19% from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. As of May 2017, the average income was $38,690 per year, based on BLS data.

Medical Assistant

Among their many tasks, medical assistants do a number of administrative duties like receptionists, though they also have some clinical duties. Learning is usually conducted on the job, and a high school diploma is required. For the BLS' 2016-2026 projection period, medical assistants were expected to have a 29% rise in employment. They earned an average salary of $33,580 in 2017.

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