Dental Assisting

Unmasking Dental Assistant Salaries: The Inside Scoop on Earnings in Ontario & Canada



Dental assistants are like superheroes in the dental world. They work side by side with dentists, making sure everything runs smoothly in clinics and offices. If you’re thinking about becoming a dental assistant in Ontario, Canada, you might be curious about how much money you can make in this awesome field. 

Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to dig deep into dental assistant salaries in Ontario. We’ll uncover average earnings and spill the beans on the factors that can influence your paycheck. So, get ready to dive into the numbers and discover what being a dental assistant in Ontario is all about.

Average Dental Assistant Salary in Canada

Let’s dive into the world of dental assistant salaries in Canada. On average, you can expect to earn around $24.73 per hour, which adds up to approximately $51,000 per year. But here’s the twist: the salary range in Canada can actually vary quite a bit. We’re talking anywhere from $39,000 (that’s about $19 per hour) to $69,000 (around $33 per hour) per year. So, as you can see, there’s a wide range of earning potential in this field.

For Level I dental assistants in Canada, the average hourly wage ranges from $18 to $27. This translates to an annual salary range of approximately $37,000 to $56,000.

For Level II dental assistants in Canada, the average hourly wage ranges from $19 to $30. This equates to an annual salary range of approximately $40,000 to $62,000.

Average Dental Assistant Salary in Ontario

When it comes to dental assistant salaries in Ontario, here’s the breakdown: On average, you can expect to make around $50,000 per year, which works out to roughly $24.70 per hour. But hey, hold up! That’s not the whole story. The salary range in Ontario has a wide range. We’re talking anywhere from $39,000 (that’s about $19 per hour) to $56,000 (around $27 per hour) per year.

Level I dental assistant

If you’re a fresh new level I dental assistant, you can expect to earn around $24 per hour, which adds up to approximately $50,000 per year.

Now, let’s say you’ve been in the dental game for 2-5 years and have some solid experience under your belt. In that case, your earning potential increases to about $25 per hour, bringing your annual salary to around $52,000.

Level II Dental Assistant Salary in Ontario

If you’re just starting out as a level II dental assistant, you can look forward to earning around $26 per hour, which adds up to approximately $54,000 per year.

But wait, there’s more! If you’ve been slaying it as a level II dental assistant for 2-5 years, according to the Ontario Dental Assistants Association, the salary level raises to $27 per hour on average. That’s not too shabby! When you do the math, it adds up to an annual salary of approximately $56,000. Not too bad for a dental assistant, huh?

What sets Level II dental assistants apart

It is the knowledge and special skill set that level II dental assistants carry that distinguishes them.

Think of it this way: while other dental assistants may be awesome at the basics like taking x-rays, sterilizing equipment, and assisting the dentist during procedures, Level II dental assistants can do all that and more! They have the expertise to perform advanced procedures like taking impressions, fabricating temporary crowns, and even assisting in complex surgeries. They’re like the jack-of-all-trades in the dental office!

If you’re thinking of becoming a dental assistant, consider taking that extra step and pursuing Level II certification. It’s an investment in your career that can pay off big time. With your advanced skills and qualifications, you’ll be in high demand and well-positioned to take on exciting opportunities in the dental field.

If you think this option might be too lengthy and costly at this time, then gain a competitive advantage by becoming H.A.R.P Certified with our stand-alone, fast, high-quality, and extremely convenient HARP1 – Dental Radiography HARP Approved Course!

Comparison of Dental Assistant Salaries of Ontario and Canada

The following chart has the general break down of the dental assistant salaries all across Canada:

Community/Area Low ($/hour) Median ($/hour) High ($/hour)
Canada 19.00 24.73 33.00
Alberta 22.50 30.00 36.00
British Columbia 18.00 26.00 34.07
Manitoba 20.00 24.00 29.64
New Brunswick 18.75 23.00 26.00
Newfoundland and Labrador 15.00 22.00 35.00
Northwest Territories N/A N/A N/A
Nova Scotia 18.00 22.00 36.00
Nunavut N/A N/A N/A
Ontario 19.00 23.50 27.00
Prince Edward Island 17.00 21.50 25.00
Quebec 18.00 23.00 30.71
Saskatchewan 20.00 28.00 33.50
Yukon Territory N/A N/A N/A


Level I and Level II Dental Assistant Salaries in Ontario and Canada

For a complete wage guide for dental assistant salaries in Ontario check out the following link: Wage Charts | Ontario Dental Assistants Association (

Factors Influencing Dental Assistant Salaries

There are certain factors such as your market conditions, experience, the level of certification you have, where you work, and the specific dental office or clinic, private practices that have an impact on your salary.


Experience is a game-changer when it comes to dental assistant salaries. The more years you’ve spent in the field and the more expertise you’ve gained, the better chance you have at commanding a higher salary. Employers value experienced dental assistants for their deep understanding of dental procedures, equipment handling, and patient care. With your proven skills and know-how, you can negotiate for the salary you deserve and open doors to exciting growth opportunities. Keep shining as a skilled dental assistant, my friend!

Market Conditions

So, let’s talk about how supply and demand, those basic economic principles, actually have a big say in shaping dental assistant salaries. You see, it’s crucial to grasp the current market conditions if you want to stand out from the crowd and not only snag the best dental office jobs, but also become an indispensable asset to your dentist.

Now, what’s happening in the market right now? Well, the entire healthcare industry is grappling with a serious shortage of skilled labor. Basically, there just aren’t enough people out there with the right skills and attitude to assist doctors and dentists in providing top-notch patient care. On top of that, you’ve got folks contemplating career switches, some leaving the industry, while others are eager to jump in.

Sure, the influx of internationally trained dentists can help alleviate the labor shortage temporarily. But the catch is, it often takes them a while to find suitable work as they work on obtaining their licenses.

Here’s the thing: Dentists need staff members who can learn fast and quickly acquire the technical skills necessary to excel in the practice. Take X-rays, for example. There’s a shortage of Level II dental assistants who can step in and assist with X-rays when practices are short-staffed or overwhelmed.

So, here’s a pro tip: If you’re a Level 1 dental assistant or an internationally trained dentist with HARP Approved certification under your belt, you’ll have a major advantage over your peers when it comes to getting hired.

Understanding these market conditions will help you make informed decisions about which courses to start with, how to plan your education, and ultimately, how to land your dream job in the dental industry.

Level of Certification

Level II certification for dental assistants in Ontario opens doors to higher-paying opportunities. Employers recognize the value of Level II dental assistants and are willing to pay more for their specialized skills. So, if you’re considering pursuing Level II certification, go for it! It’s a smart move that can lead to better-paying jobs and exciting career growth in the dental field. Show off your expertise and watch your salary rise!


The location you choose to work as a dental assistant in Ontario can impact your salary. Urban areas like Toronto, Ottawa, or Hamilton offer more job opportunities and higher salaries due to increased competition and higher living costs. However, factors like population density and local economy also influence salary ranges across different regions of Ontario. Research your chosen location, consider the demand for dental assistants, and negotiate a fair compensation package that reflects your skills and the local market.

There is another trend that is starting to gain traction in the industry today; remote placements! With more demand for dental work in places outside of the GTA, dentists are actively looking to hire staff members who can learn quickly, and have the right attitude! The pay can also be great if you’re willing to take on a slightly more remote lifestyle.

Dental Office or Clinic Size

When it comes to dental assistant salaries, the size and type of dental office or clinic can have a significant impact. Big practices that specialize in orthodontics or oral surgery often offer higher salaries due to the high volume of patients and complex procedures. On the other hand, smaller general dentistry offices may have more modest salary ranges since they handle simpler cases. It’s important to consider other factors besides salary, such as the work environment and personal fit. Researching specific dental offices or clinics will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of salary based on the type of practice. Ultimately, finding a workplace that aligns with your skills and career goals is key.

Private Practice

Dreaming of a rewarding career as a dental assistant in Ontario? Look no further than private practice jobs! Whether you’re working in a cozy clinic, a bustling retirement home, or a cutting-edge surgical practice, these opportunities come with serious earning potential. With salaries soaring up to $60,000 per year, your education and experience will be well rewarded. Get ready to unlock your full potential as a dental assistant in Ontario’s private practice scene. The future is bright, and the rewards are waiting for you!


The salary landscape for dental assistants in the Great White North offers plenty of reasons to smile. While salaries may vary across provinces, certain cities in Ontario shine as hotspots for dental assistant earnings. With factors like experience, certification level, location, workplace size in play, and private practice you can carve out a lucrative path in this booming field.

Just remember, the figures provided here are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances. It’s always wise to research job postings, consult industry resources, and confidently negotiate your worth.