Most dental assistants work in private practices. Some work for community health agencies or hospital clinics. Others work for dental insurance companies, dental and denture labs, and dental supply companies.
Dental assistants have few opportunities to advance. With more training, they may move into other dental roles or teaching.
In Alberta, 98% of people employed as dental assistants work in the Health Care and Social Assistance [pdf] industry.
The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
- location in Alberta
- employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
- occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
- size of the occupation.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the 3411: Dental assistants occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 188 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 188 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.