Become a Dental Assistant or Expand Your Current Skills
Westmoreland's Dental Assisting programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The commission is a special accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
What Will I Learn?
Dental Assisting, Diploma
Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking X-rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.
Graduates are radiology certified in Pennsylvania and are employed in general or specialty dental practices, hospitals and educational settings.
The program includes clinical experience in all phases of dentistry while rotating through departments at University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and private dental offices. View Dental Assisting in the College Catalog
Expanded Functions Dental Assisting, AAS and Certificate
Registered dental hygienists or dental assistants can climb the career ladder by completing these programs. Learn more about the EFDA programs
What Will I Earn?
If you plan to stay in the region, there are many occupations related to this program degree and certificates. In the 10-county region* surrounding Westmoreland County Community College, the earnings for occupations in this field range from $14.73 - $28.23 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $20.27.
It is important to remember that wages vary based on level of education, experience, job location and other factors.
Source: Data provided by Lightcast™ (https://lightcast.io/) 2023.1
* 10-county region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland.
Basic Application Process - Health Professions
- NOTE: The deadline for Dental Assisting admission applications has been extended to April 1, 2023
- Complete and submit an Application for Admission to
- Download one of the following for details on additional requirements:
- Complete and submit a Health Professions Programs Application
- Submit official transcript from all secondary schools attended, graduate equivalency degree (GED) programs and any other formal educational program beyond high school.
- Application Deadline: January 12 prior to fall start
- Acceptance Notification: Mid-March
As part of the program accreditation process, please find the Third Party Comment Form for Accreditation.
Dental Assisting - Frequently Asked Questions
Once accepted to the Dental Assisting program students must complete it in the recommended sequence which is for three semesters. If the general education classes are completed before starting the program, your course load would be lighter, but you would still need to complete all three semesters.
Once accepted into Westmoreland’s Dental Assisting program, students will complete the program in three semesters or one year. The start time is always the Fall semester which begins in August. There is only one class accepted each year.
Yes, any Dental Assisting general education courses can be taken prior to applying to the program but are not required as part of the application process. Grades must be “C” or better to count for the program. If completed prior to applying to the program, these courses will be considered when calculating program GPA for admission. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Please see an academic advisor or counselor for details.
Due to the class schedule in the Dental Assisting programs, students may work during the program, but need to be flexible to accommodate the demands of the program and still have enough time left to complete course assignments and the necessary study time.
All three semesters the classes are scheduled Monday thru Thursdays. There are not any evening or Saturday courses.
There are not any pre-admission courses for the Dental Assisting program.
Only developmental courses may be required based on the results of the placement assessment.
The primary place of employment for dental assistants is working in a private dental office or a dental lab. Dental assistants are employed by dentists in general and specialty practices as well as hospital dental clinics, prison facilities, and community clinics and dental labs. Other opportunities include sales rep in oral health industry, public health programs, educator in universities and community colleges.
Click here for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Salary and Career Report.
Radiation Health and Safety RHS Exam Pass Rates
- 2022 - 100%
- 2021 - 100%
- 2020 - 100%
Dental Assisting National Board Pass Rates
- 2022 - DANB Exam to be taken in July 2023
- 2021 - 100%
- 2020 - 92.31%