IBMC Articles

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

It might seem obvious: Dental assistants work in dental clinics and medical assistants work in medical offices, clinics and hospitalsbut there’s more to it than that. Both careers share a high capacity for growth in the next 10 years, but daily work experiences and duties differ considerably between them. Which path is right for you?

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 may take as little as 10 months, and annual median wage is $32,480 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

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 1- or 2-year training program will provide you with the necessary skills to confidently handle any situation as a dental assistant.

Dental assistants can make a median wage of $37,630 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Whether you’re interested in dental assisting 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 (800) 495-2669 to start your training at IBMC College in Fort Collins, Greeley, or Longmont and get into a career with purpose that offers stability for years to come!

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