Tampa Schools with Dental Assisting Programs
There are no schools that offer dental assisting degree programs in Tampa, but there are a few with diploma and certificate programs. This article looks at three schools nearby, including two that are right in the heart of downtown. Important information is contained in an easy-to-use table, allowing prospective students to compare important aspects, including program costs and school size. There is also a little information about another school, farther from Tampa, that offers a dental assisting program.
- Students in Tampa interested in a career in dental assisting may earn a dental assisting diploma at Erwin Technical College, located in the city center. The vocational school's program also provides management courses.
- About 20 miles from Tampa, the St. Petersburg campus of Pinellas Technical College offers a diploma program in dental assisting.
- Students can also earn a dental assisting certificate at Hillsborough Community College, another downtown school, which has the lowest tuition rate of the schools profiled here.
Comparison of Schools
Prospective students need to look at many factors when choosing a school. The following table offers readers a way to compare these three schools and make an informed decision about their training.
|Erwin Technical College||Pinellas Technical College - St. Petersburg||Hillsborough Community College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||1,015*||764*||27,626*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees||$4,515 (estimated total program cost for 2020)**||$5,405 (estimated total program cost for 2018)**|| $2,506 in-state
$9,111 out-of-state (2017-2018)*
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||68%*||94%*||76%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A Open admissions||N/A Open admissions||N/A Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||81% for full-time students*|| 78% for full-time students
83% for part-time students*
| 63% for full-time students
49% for part-time students*
|Graduation Rate||72% (Students who began in 2014-2015)*||58% (Students who began in 2014-2015)*||30% (13% transfer-out rate) (Students who began in Fall 2014)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **School websites
Erwin Technical College
Erwin Technical College is a postsecondary extension of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, FL. The school has career training programs in business, industry, design and medicine, and students have the opportunity to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis.
Dental Assisting Diploma
The 12-month dental assisting diploma program involves 1,230 hours of classroom and clinical work. Students gain practical, on-the-job experience by working for 375 hours at Erwin's on-site Hillsborough County Dental Research Clinic. Courses include dental terminology, dental anatomy, dental lab equipment and dental radiography. Students also learn about dental chair side assisting and office management. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association and certified by the Council of Dental Education. Graduates receive a diploma in dental assisting, an Expanded Functions Certificate for Dental Assistants and a Dental Radiographer Certificate. Upon passing the Dental Assisting National Board exam, graduates can become Certified Dental Assistants.
Pinellas Technical College
Pinellas Tecnical College was established in 1962 and offers about 60 programs to nearly 750 students annually. The dental assisting program is available at the school's St. Petersburg campus.
Dental Assistant Diploma
The dental assistant diploma at Pinellas Technical College follows a planned sequence of courses, beginning with an introductory course in dental assisting that covers basic dental health care, safety, infection control and communications. This course can be taken online. Further studies cover dental materials, dental office emergencies, preventative dentistry and specialty procedures. An articulation agreement with St. Petersburg College allows graduates to pursue an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene.
Hillsborough Community College
With multiple locations throughout the Tampa, FL, area, Hillsborough Community College offers educational and career training programs. In addition to associate's degrees, students can enroll in technical programs, health science programs, college credit certificates and postsecondary adult vocational programs. Academic opportunities are available in business, education, health sciences, media arts technology, information technology and public service.
Dental Assisting Certificate
This 12-month dental assisting program prepares students to help dentists accomplish a variety of procedures. Students learn procedures for x-ray processing, fabricating temporary crowns, taking impressions, polishing teeth and performing fluoride treatments. After completing the program, graduates can take the Dental Assisting National Board exam. Upon passing, they become Certified Dental Assistants. Graduates of the dental assisting program can work in general dentistry, orthodontic, periodontic or pediatric offices.
More School Options
Traviss Technical College is located in Lakeland, which is about 33 miles from Tampa, and also offers a dental assisting program.