Planning Your Career Path: Orthodontic Assistant Salary Expectations

Orthodontic Assistant Salary
Ready to explore how fixing teeth can also fix your paycheck? Today, we’re exploring orthodontic assisting, where making smiles isn’t just rewarding for your patients—it can be rewarding for you, too!
Wondering how much an orthodontic dental assistant takes home? Curious about what makes your orthodontic assistant pay go up? If you’re nodding, you’re at the right place! Join us on this blog as we unwrap the secrets of orthodontic assistant salaries, helping you step into a job that’s not just about teeth but also about a bright future.

Orthodontic Assistant Salary Overview

In the United States, an Orthodontic Assistant makes around $18.73 per hour, landing somewhere between $25,000 and $96,000 each year. If you’re in Illinois, it’s about $22.12 an hour and an annual average of $46,003.

But wait, there’s more! Some cities like Park Ridge and Chicago offer even higher hourly rates – $22.88 and $22.40, respectively. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 7% growth in jobs for dental assistants, including orthodontic assistants, from 2019 to 2029.

Now, here’s a question for you: Ever thought about changing jobs or getting some extra smarts to bump up your orthodontic assistant paycheck? It’s a trick that works – more skills, more cash!
And if you’re dreaming big, the jackpot for orthodontic assistant salaries is in places like California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, and Massachusetts.

So, whether you’re in Illinois or eyeing the West Coast, remember, your orthodontic assistant journey can be both rewarding and financially savvy. Keep those smiles coming, and who knows? Maybe your paycheck will be the biggest smile of all!

Factors That Can Increase Orthodontic Assistant Salary

Getting paid fairly for your skills is super important, whether you’ve been a dental assistant for a while or you’re just starting out. You might have certain questions in your mind like: “How much can you expect to make as a new dental assistant?” and “How can you make more per hour?” Let’s explore the things that decide how much money you make, so you can understand how to get the paycheck you deserve.

  • Location: Where you work plays a significant role in determining your pay. In the U.S., hourly wages for dental assistants range from $16 to $29, varying by state. Larger cities often offer higher pay, with urban areas with more than 50,000 people paying around $25 per hour. In contrast, smaller towns might provide around $23, and those in smaller urban areas might see about $20.
  • Experience Matters: In dental assisting, your pay increases with experience. Starting around $19 per hour, it goes up to $20 with 1-2 years, $22 with 3-5 years, $23.50 with 6-10 years, and reaches $25 with 10 or more years of experience. This emphasizes the impact of experience on your earnings in dental assisting.
Increase orthodontic Assistant Salary
  • Practice Type: Where you work also impacts your earnings. Specialized practices often offer higher pay. General dentistry assistants make around $24, while those in oral surgery might earn $25.78. Orthodontic, endodontic, and prosthodontic assistants typically earn around $25.
  • Credentials Add Value: Getting certified isn’t just a badge—it’s a boost to your pay! Certified dental assistants earn an average of about $24 per hour, while non-certified counterparts take home approximately $19.93. Holding more than one certification is even more rewarding, with those individuals earning about $26 per hour.

Regional Variances in Orthodontic Dental Assistant Salaries in Illinois

How much does an orthodontist assistant make in Illinois? Absolutely! Reports show that dental assistants here earn competitive salaries, with an estimated 12,940 dental assistants working in the state.

Let’s break it down further: On average, orthodontic assistants make $22.12 per hour and $46,003 annually in Illinois. But here’s the exciting part – Illinois’s different areas bring diverse opportunities. Curious about the specifics? Wondering if your city has a special spot in this orthodontic assistant landscape? Explore the table below for a closer look:

Area Mean hourly wage Mean annual wage
Aurora, IL $21.95 $ 45,648
Arlington Height, IL $22.25 $46,288
Bloomington, IL $20.85 $43,375
Chicago, IL $22.40 $46,582
Decatur, IL $ 20.58 $ 42,803
Kankakee, IL $ 22.01 $ 45,772
Peoria, IL $ 20.61 $ 42,864
Rockford, IL $21.59 $44,910
Springfield, IL $20.17 $41,959

How to Find an Orthodontic Assistant Job?

Looking to land that perfect orthodontic assistant job? Want to know where and how to find it? Feeling curious about the different paths that could lead you to the job you’ll love? Finding a great job as an orthodontic assistant is possible with these helpful places:
  • Dental School: They might have job support for new graduates. Ask about job boards, career fairs, or counselors who can help.
  • Training School: If you had a good time during your training, ask if they have job openings. Building a good connection there can help you get hired!
  • Online Job Websites: Websites like Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, and Indeed can show you jobs in your area. You can pick what kind of job you want, like part-time or full-time.
  • Dental Associations: Groups like the ADA or DANB have job listings on their websites. They might have the perfect orthodontic assistant job for you.
  • Government Websites: The government hires dental assistants for healthcare centers, especially the VA. Check VA: Careers for orthodontic assistant jobs near you.
Average Salary Orthodontic Assistant


To sum it up, exploring the orthodontic assistant salary landscape has shown us that smiles go beyond patients—they also mean potential for personal and financial fulfillment. As you think about stepping into this field, consider your goals, skills, and growth potential. Orthodontic assisting isn’t just a job; it’s a route to a fulfilling and prosperous future.

Ready to take the next step? Join the Illinois Health Careers Orthodontic Assistant course—10 modules, 2.5 hours each, plus a 20-hour clinical internship. It’s a 9-week program to equip you for success. Book your spot now and start your journey to a rewarding career!

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