Follow your career pathway with Herzing
Choose how you learn with Herzing
We strive to provide maximum flexibility for students, because we know everyone learns differently and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to education. Our program is designed for you.
That’s why we offer multiple delivery options for our dental assisting program, which apply to both our diploma and associate degree pathways:
- On-campus classes. Take all courses in-person at our campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Hybrid Track. Take main coursework online, and complete laboratory and clinical coursework at our state-of-the-industry dental clinic in St. Louis Park (1 or 2 weekends per month).
Go from Dental Assistant to Dental Hygienist
With Herzing University, you have a path to earn dental assisting and dental hygiene credentials in 4 years! Through our unique pathway, you can start your dental assisting career in as little as 20 months, then continue to study for a dental hygiene career while you work.
- Begin building dental assisting job experience
- Stand out in the job market with two industry-current qualifications
- Finish your dental assisting program with a 3.0 GPA or better and you’ll become eligible for a scholarship opportunity
After four years, you could have relevant work experience plus two in-demand qualifications.
16-20 months | 47-68 credits
$464 per credit
You are worth it.
*When student accepts awarded scholarship.
Tuition & Cost
With Herzing University, an affordable, career-focused education in dental assisting is within your reach. We are always striving to make college more affordable for everyone.
Opportunities for financial aid include:
Dental assisting program enrollment requirements
Prerequisites to enroll in the Herzing University Dental Assisting program include:
- Completion of a high school diploma, GED or equivalent
- Meet and interview with a Herzing University admissions advisor
- Complete an enrollment application
Emma found her calling. Are you next?
“I’m going to have a job when I’m done, and that’s that. I feel really proud to say it, and it feels good. I’m excited to actually do something that I enjoy doing now.”
Career possibilities in dental assisting
Dental assistants work closely with, and under the supervision of, dentists. For many, this entry-level occupation provides basic dental assisting training and experience and serves as a steppingstone to more highly-skilled and higher paying jobs.
Some dental assistants become:
- Chairside dental assistant
- Dental front office staff
- Dental office receptionist
- Office managers
- Dental assisting instructors
- Dental product sales representatives
- Insurance claims processors for dental insurance companies
- Others go back to school to become dental hygienists
As a dental assistant, you will likely perform a variety of tasks including chairside assisting, patient education, taking radiographs, polishing teeth, taking impressions and much more. In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is expected to rise 11% from 2020-2030, faster than the average across all U.S. occupations. Dental assistants in Minnesota earn a higher salary on average than any other U.S. state ($53,080 per year, $25.52 per hour).*
Dentists are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks so that they may devote their own time to more complex procedures. In addition, numerous job openings will arise out of the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave for other reasons.
Now is a great time to begin earning the education you need to join this growing career field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental assisting can be a great career choice for the right type of person!
If you have good interpersonal, listening, and organizational skills, you have the potential to be an excellent dental assistant. Dental assistants can take on many types of tasks, and you must be prepared to be a versatile team player, eager to do whatever is needed to help things run smoothly.
Dental assistants typically enjoy regular office hours (evenings and/or weekends, in some cases), a variety of job duties, and a strong foundation of experience to advance their career in the future.
Enrolling in a diploma or degree program to become a dental assistant can really be worth it!
Dental assistants work in a well-lit, clean environment either chair-side with a dentist or in an administrative role or lab setting. Full-time and part-time positions offering day and/or evening hours are available, offering a diverse range of work settings from large corporations with multiple locations to smaller private practices. Dental assistants may also work in schools, hospital settings and the military.
Working alongside a dentist, the dental assistant's patient care work includes:
- Handling instruments and operating dental equipment
- Sterilizing instruments and equipment
- Taking dental x-rays and processing the film
- Removing sutures
- Applying topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth
- Placing rubber dams on the teeth to isolate them for individual treatment
- Sitting chairside with the dentist to assist with procedures
- Obtaining health and dental history information from patients
- Producing diagnostic dental x-rays to aid in treatment planning
- Applying current infection control techniques within the dental office
- Performing expanded functions, such as polishing, applying sealants and others, with appropriate training in line with state mandates
In addition, these professionals can also be involved in office-related tasks such as scheduling and confirming appointments, maintaining treatment records, handling patient payments and ordering supplies and other materials.
There are a variety of settings in which a dental assistant can work. Those include, but are not limited to, private practice, clinics, military positions, correctional facilities, nursing homes, schools, health departments and labs. Herzing University provides its dental assistant program graduates with a wide range of skills that can be applied to a variety of settings.
Professional dental assistants demonstrate exceptional time management skills, multitasking abilities, are detailed oriented, and contribute to a positive team environment while focusing on patient care as a top priority.
With Herzing University you are never alone in paying for dental assisting school. There are many potential options for financial aid, including loans, scholarships, VA/military benefits, and more. Please contact us for eligibility.
You can use the Herzing Tuition Wizard to determine the cost of tuition for our diploma or associate degree in dental assisting, available through our Minneapolis campus.
Dental assistants help dentists deliver dental care to patients by taking on a mix of patient care and administrative duties. Their scope of practice depends on state regulations, but common responsibilities of a dental assistant include:
- Prepare patients for treatments and procedures
- Take x-rays
- Scheduling appointments
- Assist patients in billing and payment
- Sterilizing instruments, and assisting dentists during procedures
- Taking medical history, blood pressure, and pulse before a procedure
- Talk to patients about proper oral hygiene
What dental assistants do on a daily basis depends on the specific roles and responsibilities included in the job description, which can vary by employer.
It can take less than 2 years to become a dental assistant well-prepared to succeed right from the start.
How much less depends on what educational pathway you choose. With Herzing University in Minneapolis you have two options:
- Diploma in Dental Assisting: 16 months (average)
- Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting: 20 months (average)
Once you’ve graduated, all that’s left is getting certified to position yourself best to find your first job in dental assisting.
Dental assisting can be hard if it’s not the right type of job for your personality—or if you’re unprepared to succeed in the position.
Earning a formal education helps you build the knowledge and skills to be comfortable in the role right from the start.
Accreditation & Disclosure
1. The Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting and the Diploma in Dental Assisting programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission's web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda. Consequently, graduates are eligible to take the examinations leading to certified dental assistant (CDA®) certification through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.
I chose to attend Herzing University because of the dental assistant program. Working a full-time job and going to school at the same time was a challenge, but my teachers kept pushing me to keep going. I never took a break.