Dental Assisting Programs | Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pennsylvania


Become a Dental Assistant or Expand Your Current Skills

Dental Assisting students with instructor

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™ ( 2023.1

* 10-county region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland.

Basic Application Process - Health Professions


As part of the program accreditation process, please find the Third Party Comment Form for Accreditation

Dental Assisting - Frequently Asked Questions

Steps for the Application process are located at the top of this webpage, and can also be found here.

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.

Yes. The Dental Assisting courses are offered in a sequence; therefore making the program the full three semesters. However, completing general education courses that the program requires will lighten a student’s course load.
Students with Dental Assisting courses from other institutions will need to speak with the Director of Dental Assisting to see if they are transferable.
No. Once a student has been accepted to the program these requirements will be explained to the accepted students at the orientation meeting held by the Director of the Dental Assisting Program. Students are informed of this meeting in their acceptance letter.
If a student is not able to complete the program, they may reapply the following year to be accepted again into the program.
The Professional organization is the ADAA American Dental Assistants Organization (ADAA). Find more details here.
You will graduate with a Diploma from Westmoreland County Community College. Also, upon graduation, since we are a CODA Accredited Dental Assisting Program, you are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Once completed successfully, you will have earned the title of a CDA – Certified Dental Assistant and you will be radiology certified in Pennsylvania.

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%