Understanding your Dental Employee Benefits

by | Jun 12, 2019 | Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienists, Dental Job, Dental Professionals, New Job, Work Life | 0 comments

Most dental professionals are looking for a dental job that includes benefits in some capacity.  Whether that includes Paid-Time-Off (PTO), Health Insurance or a Retirement plan, receiving any or all of these is wonderful and add great value to your position.

In this post we breakdown the costs so you can see how much your hourly wage truly is when you receive benefits in your compensation package.


If you work for an office that gives you 40 hours of sick leave, 40 hours of paid vacation and 48 hours of holiday pay (6 major holidays per year) you getting a little over 3 weeks of paid time off each year.  That is around 6% of additional pay.

Health Insurance 

Most offices that offer Health Insurance pay about 50% of your premium. For example, let us just say that totals $180/month that the office pays.  If you are working 40 hours a week, that is a little over 1% in additional pay.

Retirement Benefits 401k and FSA

If your office offers this, they are most likely covering all the fees associated with the plan.  This includes set-up fees (1 time when you join the office), transactional fees (every pay period when you deposit money into those accounts) and then fees for the total assets being held for all the employees.  To be conservative, we will say this adds 1% to your pay, although I feel it might be more.

WOW this really adds up!

You are getting 6% from PTO, 1% from Health Insurance and 1% for your 401K and/or FSA plan.  If a practice offers all these items, you are making an additional 8% in pay!

Meaning, if you are a Dental Hygienist making $42/hr and add these benefits you are actually making an additional $3.36 an hour.  Making your actual rate of pay $45.36/hr.

If you are an RDA making $20/hr, add these benefits and you are actually making $21.60/hr.

Don’t forget guaranteed hours paid! 

Most practices will send people home, unpaid, if the schedule is slow or falls apart.  Some offices, will guarantee your hours and keep you on the schedule even if you don’t have a patient to assist.  Math is basic there; if you are on the clock and there are no patients on the schedule and you are just hanging out, whatever your hourly wage is IS your additional pay.  That could add up to a lot!

Please make sure to keep your TOTAL COMPENSATION in mind when you are negotiating your pay for a job or when asking for a raise, as you can now see how much benefits add to your hourly pay.   

We hope this post helps you understand the value of benefits!

Any benefits we missed?  Include them in the comments!