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Dental assistants perform a series of functions, including patient care, record keeping, programming and sterilization of dental instruments. Texas law states that a dental assistant must be registered with the Board of Dental Examiners of the State of Texas and that the registration must be renewed annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 22,700 dental assistants were employed in Texas in May 2011.
Dental assistants in Texas earned an average annual income of US $ 31,550 in May 2011, according to the BLS, which was slightly lower than the national average income of the dental assistant that was US $ 34,740. The average hourly wage of health workers was around US $ 15.17, compared to the average hourly wage of US $ 16.70 for all dental assistants working in the United States.
In the low salary portion of 25%, dental assistants in Texas earned US $ 24,920 per year or less, while the worst paid 10% earned US $ 20,480 or less per year. Of all dental assistants who worked in the state, the highest paid 25% reported an annual profit of US $ 37,270 or more, and in the top 10% reported annual earnings of US $ 43,880 or more.
Among dental assistants who worked in the Texas metropolitan areas, those in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area reported the highest average income, earning about US $ 37,390 per year. Other areas of high salaries for dental assistants included the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area with US $ 34,170, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area earned US $ 33,690 and Abilene earned US $ 32,290. Areas where dental assistants’ salaries fell below the state average include San Antonio-New Braunfels with US $ 30,870 a year, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown with US $ 30,790 and Amarillo reported US $ 30,660, in El Paso they earned US $ 28,430 and in Lubbock they won US $ 24,250.
Dental assistants who worked in central North Texas earned an average annual income of US $ 40,630 in 2011, a figure that exceeded not only the average income of Texas dental assistants, but the national average. Those who worked in the peripheral areas of the Gulf Coast also earned above the average salary, reporting average annual income of US $ 35,190. In other non-metropolitan areas, dental assistants reported annual salaries below the state average. Those in northwestern Texas earned an average of US $ 25,630, US $ 27,710 in eastern Texas, US $ 30,850 in central Texas and US $ 26,400 in southern Texas.