Tennessee Dental Assistant Training Programs and Schools

Career Information for Dental Assistants in Tennessee

Dental assistants perform a wide variety of jobs around a dentist's office, including caring for patients, taking x-rays, keeping records and scheduling appointments. Some dental assistants also perform four regulated tasks -- coronal polishing, sealant application, fluoride application and topical anesthetics application. The day-to-day activities typically include:

  • Preparing patients for treatments and exams
  • Teaching patients proper dental care
  • Assisting the dentist during procedures
  • Sterilizing dental instruments

Fast Facts for Dental Assistants in Tennessee

Dental assistants in Tennessee earn a mean annual wage of $34,650, and there are 5,670 practicing assistants working in the state. That translates to about two dental assistants for every 1,000 workers in the state. The highest concentration of dental assistants in Tennessee is in Clarksville, where there are nearly 5 dental assistants for every 1,000 workers. The lowest concentration (1.5 dental assistants per 1,000 workers) is in Jackson and Memphis.

More than 30 percent of the state's dental assistants work in the Nashville metropolitan area, and 16 percent work in Memphis. The third-highest total of dental assistants is located in Chattanooga, where 500 dental assistants are employed. Here's a breakdown of the number of dental assistants in each of Tennessee's metropolitan areas, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2014:

  • Chattanooga: 500
  • Clarksville: 400
  • Cleveland: 90
  • Jackson: 90
  • Johnson City: 190
  • Kingsport-Bristol: 310
  • Knoxville: 770
  • Memphis: 930
  • Morristown 120
  • Nashville: 1,710

Dental Assistant Salaries in Tennessee

The mean annual salary for dental assistants in Tennessee is about 5 percent lower than the national average of $36,240. The highest salaries in the state are paid in the Morristown metropolitan area, where the mean annual wage is $41,540, which translates to nearly $20 per hour.

Nationally, jobs for dental assistants are expected to grow 25 percent through 2022, as the strengthening link between oral health and overall health increases the demand for preventative care. Tennessee is expected see slightly lower growth during this period, however, with a 20.6 percent annual job growth for dental assistants -- about 230 new jobs in the state each year.

While the vast majority of dental assistants work in dentist offices earning average salaries, a few industries pay slightly higher salaries for dental assistants. These industries, and the average salaries they pay to dental assistants, include:

  • Specialty hospitals: $40,550
  • Insurance Carriers: $40,370
  • State governments: $39,850
  • Federal executive branch: $39,460
  • General medical and surgical hospitals: $37,300

Tennessee Metro Areas for Dental Assistants

The following is a breakdown of the concentration of dental assistant jobs per 1,000 total jobs in each of Tennessee's metropolitan areas. The mean salary paid in that metropolitan area is also listed:

  • Chattanooga: 2.1 dental assistants per 1,000 workers, $35,740
  • Clarksville: 4.9, $34,020
  • Cleveland: 1.9, $32,540
  • Jackson: 1.5, $29,650
  • Johnson City: 2.5, $35,130
  • Kingsport-Bristol: 2.7, $32,310
  • Knoxville: 2.3, $37,410
  • Memphis: 1.5, $35,200
  • Morristown 2.7, $41,540
  • Nashville: 2, $33,940


  1. Dental Assisting National Board, Inc., Tennessee State Requirements, Nov. 22, 2015, http://www.danb.org/Meet-State-Requirements/State-Specific-Information/Tennessee.aspx
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Nov. 20, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tn.htm
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Nov. 19, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Dental Assistants, Nov. 20, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Dental Assistants, Nov. 13, 2015. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm
  6. Projections Central, Long-term Occupational Projections, Nov. 14, 2015,https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Schools for Dental Assistants in Tennessee are listed below.

Selected Schools in Tennessee

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Tennessee.

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Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center.

  • Programs: Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant
  • Degrees: Certificate
Fortis Institute
Cookeville, Nashville

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

  • Programs: Medical Assisting, Medical Assistant
  • Degrees: Associate
Remington College
Memphis, Nashville

Get hands-on training with Remington College.

Prefer to speak with a Customer Service Rep? Call 855-264-3155 toll-free now!

  • Programs: Diploma in Dental Assisting, Diploma in Medical Assisting
  • Degrees: Diploma
Miller-Motte Technical College
Chattanooga, Clarksville

With Miller-Motte you can expect the focus to be on you, the student, and your career. We are committed to Changing Futures, Changing Lives, and it all starts with you. You can rely on challenging programs, interesting curriculum, and educators with industry experience preparing you for your new future.

  • Programs: Dental Assisting - Associate of Applied Science, Dental Assisting - Diploma, Clinical Office Assistant - Diploma, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma
Daymar College
Clarksville, Nashville

We Change Lives...One Person At A Time. ®

  • Programs: Dental Assisting, Associates Degree, Dental Assisting, Diploma, Medical Assisting, Associate of Science, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma
Chattanooga College

Start your career with an education from Chattanooga College Medical, Dental & Technical Careers.

  • Programs: Dental Assistant, Medical Office Administration, Medical Assisting
  • Degrees: Diploma

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

  • Programs: Medical Assisting
  • Degrees: Certificate

Get personalized attention with UMA.

One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services-they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

  • Programs: Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Degrees: Diploma
Brightwood College

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Dental Assistant , Medical Assistant
  • Degrees: Diploma
South College

Get the skills you need to pursue your dreams at South College, located in Knoxville.

  • Programs: AS Medical Assisting, CERT Medical Assisting, BS Health Science w/Con Nuclear Medicine
  • Degrees: Associate, Certificate, Bachelor
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More Tennessee Schools

School Name Campus Highest Award Enrolled
Draughons Junior College Clarksville Clarksville Associate 441
Draughons Junior College Inc Nashville Associate 286
Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro Murfreesboro Associate 560
Northeast State Technical Community College Blountville Associate 5,237
Volunteer State Community College Gallatin Associate 7,065

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Dental Assistants

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Tennessee. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Dental Assistants

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Dental Assistants relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Jackson 90 $26980 0.65
Johnson City 240 $35030 1.32
Cleveland 100 $33280 0.91
Knoxville 800 $37540 0.92
Morristown 130 $36610 1.32
Nashville 1830 $35410 0.88
Davidson 1830 $35410 0.88
Murfreesboro 1830 $35410 0.88
Franklin 1830 $35410 0.88
Employment For:

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