Dentistry Administrator: Job & Career Info

Learn what it takes to work as a dentistry administrator. Find out the education and training requirements and job duties for this career, as well as some alternative career options.

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Career Definition for a Dentistry Administrator

Dentistry administrators, also called dental administrators, manage dental offices. They make sure that everyone is doing their job, patients are satisfied, and bills are paid. These administrators make important phone calls, make decisions on marketing and advertising, communicate with insurance companies and patients, and hire office staff.

Required Education A certificate in dental office administration
Job Duties Include managing and hiring dental office staff, making important phone calls and communicating with insurance companies
Median Salary (2015) $86,110 (all administrative services managers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% growth (all administrative services managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Individuals that are looking to begin a career as a dentistry administrator need a certificate in dental office administration. This certificate can be completed in a 16-week program and includes courses in insurance coding and billing, appointment management, leadership classes, and computer software training. Dentistry administrators also need to understand the potential health hazards in their workplace and how to avoid illness and injury that could result from these hazards.

Skills Required

Dentistry administrators need to know how to use computers and word processing software. Knowledge of Windows and Detrix, an industry-standard software program, are essential. Administrators also need to know how to use email systems. Communication skills are mandatory to be able to work with dentists, clinical staff, insurance companies, and patients on a daily basis.

Career and Economic Outlook

Opportunities for careers as dentistry administrators are available in dental offices, dental labs, hospitals, and public health departments. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for administrative services managers, including dentistry administrators, are projected to increase by 8% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS reported in 2015 that the median salary for administrative services managers was $86,110.

Alternative Career Options

Medical Secretary

Aspiring dental administrators who want to gain some experience may choose to first work as medical secretaries. These secretaries work in medical and dental offices and provide administrative support, including scheduling appointments, processing payments, and taking medical histories. These workers need basic computer and office skills and some on-the-job training. The BLS reported in May 2015 that the median salary for medical secretaries was $33,040. Jobs for these workers are projected to increase by 21% from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS.

Human Resources Manager

Like dental administrators, human resources (HR) managers hire and coordinate employee benefits, but HR managers work in any type of organization, not just dental offices. HR managers also provide employee training programs. A minimum of a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field is required for this job. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for HR managers was $104,440, according to the BLS. The BLS projects that the number of jobs for these workers will increase by 9% from 2014 to 2024, which is about average.

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