Florida Dental Assistant Schools and Salary Guide

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The dental industry is steadily growing with dental assistant positions regularly ranking as one of the in-demand job markets.

The outlook for Florida dental assistant jobs is as bright as the state’s namesake.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it has been projected an 11% growth in the dental assistant job market over the next decade.

This is considered faster than average growth.

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Get information on Dental Assistant programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Dental Assistant Schools Around the State

Although there are many dental assistant schools throughout the state, we are highlighting five schools that offer dental assistant programs.

Florida National University

Florida National University Logo

With the main campus located in Hialeah, FL, and the south campus in Miami, FL, Florida National University is our first stop.

FNU is a fully accredited university and offers a wide array of classes and courses of study.

Their Dental Assistant program consists of 18 hours of coursework and 120 hours of clinical practice to graduate.

Dental assistant graduates will enter the workforce with training that gives expanded functions for their positions.

For instance, since the program offers a class in dental x-ray operations, graduates will be able to operate x-ray machines in office settings without further training or certification.

The admissions process can be started by visiting the school admissions webpage.

There, you will fill out application forms and submit high school transcripts and GED paperwork.

SAT and ACT scores are also required.

Some admissions testing may be necessary, depending on transcripts and test scores.

FNU offers a net price calculator to help students estimate their schooling costs.

Ultimate Medical Academy

Ultimate Medical Academy Logo

Ultimate Medical Academy, located in Clearwater, FL, is an institution focused on training high-quality students to enter the medical field.

Their dental assistant program runs either 12  or 20 months and readies graduates for expanded functions in a dentist’s office.

Expanded functions often include making dental molds and operating x-ray equipment.

UMA offers two paths for becoming a dental assistant.

Their 12-month, 26-credit diploma program offers a faster entry into the workforce without compromising the dental assistant training.

The 20-month, 62-credit associate degree course expands the scope of the dental assistant training and includes classes that can enhance a graduate’s overall chances of being hired, as well as their initial pay rate.

UMA offers financial aid for approved applicants.

Current tuition costs are $475 per credit hour for the associate or diploma programs, or $430 per credit hour, once their diploma program is complete.

Santa Fe College

Santa Fe College Logo

Santa Fe College, located in Gainesville, FL, offers dental assistant programs which typically last 10 months.

Clinical studies are conducted through Santa Fe’s campus, as well as the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry.

This symbiotic relationship helps to prepare dental students for all facets of work in professional settings.

The Santa Fe college dental assistant program is accredited by the American Dental Association.

Students successfully completing all certificate requirements may become eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board.

Completion of this program offers dental assistants even more opportunities for employment and advancement.

Applicants must supply high school transcripts or GED certification.

SAT and ACT test results must also be submitted.

Tuition for Florida residents ranges, depending on the program of study but is usually between $3,100 and $5500.

Out-of-state residents will pay three to four times as much.

Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee Community College Logo

Located in Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee Community College offers a program of study which prepares students for the Dental Assisting National Board Exam.

Additionally, graduates will have completed courses that improve not only their dental assisting skills but also inter-office managerial skills.

These skills benefit job applicants by offering a multi-faceted employee.

TCC’s dental assistant course consists of 50 credit hours.

The program starts in the fall semester.

In addition to an application to the college, students must also submit a separate healthcare program application.

Florida residents can expect fees of $100.83 per credit hour.

Non-residents move up to #387.27 per credit hour.

TCC offers a net price calculator to help estimate a student’s tuition costs.

Visit their admissions page to help chart your course of study.

Gulf Coast State College

Gulf Coast State College Logo

Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL offers dental assistant students a comprehensive course of study covering numerous skills and functions you will need for the job.

The program has limited access, meaning acceptance to the program requires exceptional credentials and passage through the admissions policy criteria.

Once accepted, students will complete a 47-credit-hour course, which spans the fall and spring semesters, as well as a class or two in the summer semester.

More than half of the credit hours are vocational credits.

These hands-on courses are the key to developing a competent and well-trained dental assistant.

Students applying to the dental assistant program should complete a general admissions application, as well as a dental assisting application packet.

Students are encouraged to visit the dental assisting page for GCSC for more information.

Dental Assitant Schools in Florida – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Florida

School NameAddress
Florida National University4425 W 20th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33012
Ultimate Medical Academy1255 Cleveland St, Clearwater, FL 33755
Santa Fe College3000 NW 83 St, Gainesville, FL 32606
Tallahassee Community College444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32304
Gulf Coast State College5230 US-98, Panama City, FL 32401

Dental assistant salaries in Florida

Dental assistant salaries in Florida can range between $35,000 and $45,000, depending on the city you live in.

Additionally, the skills and experience you have as a dental assistant can be a factor in your overall rate of pay.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Dental Assistants in Florida

City NameSalary
St. Petersburg$38,850
Fort Lauderdale$39,630
Pembroke Pines$39,373
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Florida

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL680$45,510$21.88$58,620$37,420
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL290$40,730$19.58$47,970$28,950
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL510$40,000$19.23$46,840$30,980
Gainesville, FL340$44,720$21.5$54,590$37,010
Homosassa Springs, FL80$39,040$18.77$50,660$30,510
Jacksonville, FL1,540$45,070$21.67$55,150$38,100
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL510$41,610$20$48,590$34,500
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL8,080$41,020$19.72$50,310$35,760
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL420$51,270$24.65$69,100$37,440
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL930$43,770$21.04$50,720$36,050
Ocala, FL280$42,240$20.31$47,600$36,690
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL2,910$41,490$19.95$47,590$35,960
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL640$43,880$21.1$50,340$37,150
Panama City, FL180$41,810$20.1$47,200$36,310
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL430$40,730$19.58$47,790$34,070
Port St. Lucie, FL450$44,230$21.27$49,600$36,830
Punta Gorda, FL150$41,510$19.96$48,050$33,280
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL150$43,220$20.78$48,220$36,260
Sebring, FL90$37,690$18.12$46,060$30,080
Tallahassee, FL310$38,460$18.49$46,110$30,140
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL3,010$45,950$22.09$58,640$38,420
The Villages, FL110$41,230$19.82$46,420$34,240
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Dental Assistants, OCC Code 31-9091, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Florida require a license or certificate to be a dental assistant? 

There is no current license or certification requirement for a dental assistant to work in Florida as long as the dental assistant has completed formal training.

Does Florida require special training for a dental assistant to administer nitrous oxide?

If administering nitrous oxide, the DA must complete a training course and be certified as CPR trained by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or an equivalent agency-sponsored CPR course.

Does Florida require special training for dental assistants using dental x-ray equipment?

To operate dental x-ray equipment, the DA must have graduated from a Florida Board of Dentistry-approved school or program, or be certified as a dental radiographer by the Florida Department of Health.

How can a student gain in-state residency?

Either the parents of the student or the student, if over the age of 18, must live in the state for 12 consecutive months.

Do schools offer job placement options for graduates?


Most schools offer job placement services or career counseling services to help students move into employment opportunities after their schooling is complete.

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