Luxuries your Dental Job is offering beyond your hourly wage

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienists, Dental Job, Dental Professionals, Fun!, Work Life | 0 comments

If you have read any of my blogs or looked at any job postings recently, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that the pay for Dental Assistants, Hygienists and Front Office Staff have all seen a nice increase in pay.  

And with that, we have seen many dental personnel jump ship from a job they have been with for a while to another job for better pay.  Which I am all for.  My motto is “Make that Money, Honey.”  

But I have had some candidates who took another job for higher pay reach back out thinking they made a mistake.  Their new office just wasn’t jiving with them the way their previous office did.  That is rough.

So I am figured I would write a post about other “luxuries” your current job might offer you other than the max pay for your position.  And let you decide if that is worth staying or leaving.  I will also write how you can find out if a dental office you are interviewing with offers these luxuries. 

#1 Benefits 

Benefits are expensive for dental offices to offer.  Especially Medical Insurance.  So if that is something you need, and our current office offers it, then it is worth it to stay rather than leave it to take an extra $2/hr.  As you might find you will have to pay more out of pocket for health insurance that what the pay increase ads up to. 

Other benefits to look for that can offet increase pay. 

Paid Time Off: Paid time off is almost free money.  If your current office gives you 2 weeks of PTO and you are thinking of leaving them for an office that only gives 1 week, that is about $1000 you could be throwing away. 

401k with Match – By July 2022, all employers in CA with 5 or more employees will have to offer a retirement plan.  But they are not required to match your investments.  If you are working for an office that offers a 401K with a match (meaning they put in what you put in) then you might want to stay put.  If you choose your investments correctly, 401K with a match could add up to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Bonuses – Before leaving somewhere for a higher hourly wage, run the numbers.  You might be making way more with your current office’s bonus system. 

Looking for a job with benefits:  Simply ask what benefits they offer.  And then ask questions about those benefits.  

PTO – Great, how much?  Is it accrued?  Does it increase year after year?  Can the amount be negotiate?

Health Insurance –  Actual insurance or a stipend?  What company?  Can I review the plan before accepting the position?  

401k – Great!  Do you match any of my contributions? What additional services are included with this 401K provider?  Is there a financial planner I can speak with to discuss my investments? 

Bonuses – Monthly, quarterly or annually?  How is it earned (collections? New Patient numbers?)?  How often has the team hit the bonus goal in the past?  How does it work, what would be my %?  Can you give me examples of how payout works or what was the last pay out? 

#2 Flexibility

I’m including this one, because multiple surveys of Dental Assistants said that this is what they seek the most.  

This is however, extremely challenging for dental offices to offer, since most practices run with 1 assistant, 1 hygienist, 1 front office persons and 1 dentist.  So if anyone is out the whole team suffers.  

With that being said, if you have an offices that offers you flexibility to pick up the kids after school or call our sick without making you feel terrible for it, THEN STAY PUT!  That is very hard to find in dentistry.  

If you don’t have that now, and you need it.  Here are some way to find it. 

  1. If the job posting mentions “flexible” OR “open to full time or part time” OR “If you can work one or all of these days…” Then apply, as these offices seem open to working with your schedule. 
  2. Be honest with your needs.  If you need/want to pick up your kids from school everyday, tell the office during the interview.  If they can’t work with that, then part ways as friends.  It clearly wasn’t a match.  But there are offices (more now than ever before) who just need some extra help a few hours a day, so they could make that work.  
  3. Temp – If you truly need flexibility, temp.  You can pick when and where you work and only accept the shifts that fit your schedule.  On DirectDental you can select the day you want to work and apply to all the temp shifts on that day.  And if you find an office you love you can keep temping with them as often as they need you. 

#3 Recognition

This is another benefit I kept seeing Dental Assistants say they want in their office.  And I get it.  When I managed my practices, I would see all the team members work extra hard and it didn’t seem like that was ever celebrated.  So if you work for a dentist that thanks you often and makes the initiative to celebrate and honor your hard work, you might want to stay.  As you might find this appreciation benefits you a lot more than an extra $1 an hour. 

If you looking for a job and you want to find an office that gives recognition, then ask to speak with the team members.  Ask them when was the last time they did something fun as a team.  Or when was the last time the doctor thanked them for their efforts.  Their responses will tell you all you need to know about that office. 

#4 Working for a great doctor or team

Most of you are far along in your career to know that your doctor and team is what makes work manageable.  If you work for a doctor who is money hungry or with a team that constantly gossips and causes drama then you are most likely miserable.  And no amount of money will make that better (even if we like to think it will).  

If your dentist truly cares about the team and the patients, offers great dentistry and your team makes you feel loved and wanted then stay. 

If you need to find an office with a great doctor and team, then before accepting a position make sure to read all the office reviews.  And find out how long all the employees have been there.  If 1 or 2 of the team members have been there for more that 6+ years, this is probably a place you want to be.  

#5 Growth and Professional Development

This another much desired want/need among dental professionals and another one that is hard to find in a dental practice.  Again, most practices work with a 4 or 5 man team and everyone has their role.  That doesn’t feed into professional growth.  

BUT if your doctor loves to help you with your CEs or likes you to attend trainings and events in the dental field, then congratulations, you have an employers that fosters and supports your growth as an individual and professional.  

If growth and development are something you are seeking in your next position make sure to ask – Is there any room for growth are advancement opportunities?  How many events and trainings did the team attend last year?  If I get certain certificates that benefits the practice and increases production, would a raise be offered?

#6 A Short commute

I’m adding this one, because

  1. It’s raining while I’m writing this
  2. Traffic is coming back with a vengeance
  3. Gas prices are outrageous
  4. I simply hate driving.  

We find that the offices that offer the highest pay rates are in areas with a lot of traffic or are too expensive for someone to live nearby.  So if you are looking to increase your rate of pay by adding 10+ miles to your commute, it most likely is not worth it.   

If you need to shorten your commute, head to DirectDental.  You can put in your position, zipcode and how far you are willing to commute and we will show you all the jobs that fall into your commute radius.  And then apply with a click.  It is that easy.  

On top of all of these, working in dentistry is a great career.  We have job security and we see more smiles in 1 day than most people get to see in a month.  Its pretty awesome.  So if after reading this, you find that your current office is pretty amazing, but you still need a bigger paycheck then ask for a raise or present them these ideas to get them to pay you more.  

And if you read this and realized, you aren’t working for an offices that lines up with your career wants/needs, then head to DirectDental and start applying for jobs. 


Holli Perez

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