IBMC Articles

Medical and Dental Assisting: Both booming careers, but what’s the difference?

Female dentistIt might seem obvious: Dental assistants work in dental clinics and medical assistants work in hospitalsbut there’s more to it than that. Both careers share a high capacity for growth in the next ten years, but daily work experiences and duties differ considerably between them. Which path is right for you?

Dental Assisting

Almost all dental assistants work in dental offices, alongside dentists. Most work full time during the day, while some work evenings and weekends, which may result in higher pay. A one or two year training program will provide you with the necessary skills to confidently handle any situation as a dental assistant. Dental assistants can expect to make a median wage of $36,940 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Qualities
  • Detail Oriented
  • Enjoy working with hands
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Listening skills
  • Organizational skills

Medical Assisting

Medical assistants may work in several different settings, including hospitals, clinics, and specialized medical offices, like optometry clinics. It’s their job to record patients’ personal information and history, measure vital signs, assist with examinations and schedule patient appointments. Most work full time, and some work nights or weekends which can create the ability for a flexible schedule. Training programs take only 15 months, and annual median wages are $31,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Qualities
  • Analytical skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Technical skills

Whether you’re interested in dental or medical assisting, if you’re ready for a stable and secure career with long-term potential, training is available for compassionate people like you!

Visit or call 1-800-NEW-CAREER to start your training at IBMC College in Longmont, Greeley, or Fort Collins and get into a career with purpose that offers stability for years to come!