Dental office managers handle the administrative role at the center of a dental practice, assuring that everything is running smoothly behind the scenes.
The typical duties of a dental office manager range from performing administrative work, handling payroll management, performing employee evaluations, and working closely together with office staff in varying capacities.
The dental office manager may also train new employees, as well as fulfill the role of recruiter for new hires. Also, a dental office manager must have:
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Skills in either account receivable work, scheduling platforms, or insurance billing
- Computer proficiency, including experience with Microsoft Word
- Experience with software applications such as Dentrix or Eaglesoft (commonly used platforms by administrative professionals working in the dental office capacity).
Many professionals working in other roles in the dental field such as dental assistant, front-end receptionist, and dental hygienist commonly advance to a dentist manager position.
The median salary of the average dental office manager ranges between $34,000-64,000 annually.
Outliers may earn more or less than these figures, with the highest earners seeing an average salary of around $115,000 annually depending on background and type of practice.
How Much Does a Dental Office Manager Make?
Location greatly influences the average salary of most dental office managers, with the cost of living playing a fundamental role in earnings and compensation nationwide.
As a result of the increased cost of living expenses, dental office managers in major business hubs like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, New York can expect a higher pay rate than dental office managers employed in other areas of the country.
Dental Office Manager Salary Determinant Factors
Various factors contribute to the yearly salaries of dental office managers across the United States. Location, experience, education, and the setting that a dental office manager works within may significantly affect earnings.
Data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with reported salaries from major career sites Indeed, Glassdoor, and Payscale yield an accurate representation of the determining factors influencing dental office manager yearly salaries.
How Much Does a Dental Office Manager Make In The United States?
Dental office managers in the United States report a median salary of $51,834 based on experience, location, and education.
In most cases, dental office front-end managers average a median salary of around $50,000 yearly, with dental office regional managers averaging an annual salary of $85,000.
Higher earning potential is possible in large urban areas including New York City and Los Angeles, California, with dental office managers there earning a median salary of $50,000 yearly.
Bonus salary opportunities for dental office managers range between $2,000-$5,000 annually, averaging $3,000 each year.
Dental office manager salary also varies by practice, with office managers in specialized settings like oral and maxillofacial surgery averaging a median annual income of $90,000.
Dental Office Manager Salary Based On Skillset
Various skillsets and qualifications affect the earning potential of most dental office managers.
Proficiency in specialized software utilized by administrative professionals such as Dentrix or Eaglesoft can significantly affect pay rate, and dental office managers with experience in either accounting or bill collections earn slightly more than those without these skillsets on average.
The most significant skillsets directly affecting dental office manager salary are operations management experience, payroll administration experience, and a human resources background.
A dental office manager with a human resources background is often preferable over other candidates and can earn as much as 36 percent more per hour.
Dental Office Manager Salary Based On Firm
A number of widespread, nationwide dental practices including Aspen Dental, Gentle Dental, and Heartland Dental Corporation frequently hire entry-level dental office managers. Although salary rates earned by dental office manages at these corporations varies, reported figures reflect a consistent trend.
Dr.B owns the dental corporation with the highest reported office manager salary, followed by Dr.Jones Inc, then by Gentle Dental.
These top three firms leading on the pay scale all hire entry-level office manager at a salary rate at or above $50,000 annually.
On the other end of the pay scale, Aspen Dental ranks as the lowest paying dental firm nationwide, with an average reported salary of just $40,000 yearly for dental office managers.
Dental Office Manager Salary In Upper Management Roles
The position of dental office manager offers expansive room for growth and advancement, and dental office managers may rise in rank to a number of roles in upper management including practice administrator, dental insurance coordinator, and front desk receptionist.
On average, the role of Practice Administrator offers a yearly salary rate of around $68,000, while dental insurance coordinators and front desk receptionists earn as much as $12-$16,000 less annually.
How Much Does a Dental Office Manager Make According to Experience?
A dental office manager can expect to earn more based on experience at a rate consistent with years of practice in the role.
Generally speaking, midcareer experience of 5 or more years earns an average salary of $50-$60,000 annually—about $10,000 greater than average depending on salary range and other determining factors like location.
Many dental office managers begin their career in roles leading to a dental office manager position in either dental office receptionist work, dental assistant, or dental hygienist roles.
Gaining experience before advancing to the position of dental office manager is an excellent way to increase salary based on experience in the dental field.
How Much Does a Dental Office Manager Make According to Work Environment?
The specialty in which a dental office manager secures employment may have a significant impact on earning potential. Dental office managers based in oral surgery and maxillofacial practices enter the field at a base salary of over $50,000 annually
Additionally, factors like location directly affect yearly salary figures—with the highest paying dental office managers positions typically offered in New York City, New York and the District of Columbia.
This higher pay rate is a result of the increased cost of living expenses associated with densely populated cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other major metropolitan commerce centers nationwide.
Most dental office managers can expect a standard 40 hour work week and 9-5 workday.
Frequently, overtime is a necessary duty of the dental office manager, and office managers working overtime hours may or may not receive additional compensation.
Dental office managers report an average overtime hourly rate of around 10-15 hours weekly.
Bonuses and Benefits
Bonuses and benefits vary greatly depending on the setting and practice a dental office manager oversees. Healthcare coverage and other benefits may or may not be offered with a dentist office manager position.
Yearly bonuses typically range between $2-$5,000 and average around $3,000 yearly. Higher bonuses are often included with higher salaries and are also commiserate with other determining factors including experience and location.
As an additional source of income, profit sharing and commission based sales generate between $2-$5,000 annually.
Growth for the dental field is expected to increase at a rate of 33 percent through the year 2022, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, leaving the dental office manager with a positive career outlook.
As the baby boomer population reaches retirement age, an increase in the rate of dental and maxillofacial services required is expected to contribute to the growth of this field.
Dental professionals entering oral surgery and maxillofacial practices in an office manager position can expect a positive career outlook, with a higher starting salary when compared to other dental practices.
The need for administrative professionals faces a projected growth rate of around 33 percent through the year 2022, as advancements in technology improve methods for recordkeeping and other data management systems.
Dental office manager positions offer a unique role for professionals with both administrative and human resource backgrounds. A career in this field is ideal for candidates who hold the necessary skills of office manager, with the additional responsibilities of working closely alongside dental professionals to maximize efficiency and reduce administrative workloads.
To that end, the overarching goal of the dental office manager is to assist dental professionals in providing adequate care to their patients—improving office morale and patient experience while working behind the scenes to ensure the upkeep of busy dental practices.
Students and professionals already employed in the dental field interested in advancing to dental office manager position should consider developing skills in applications such as Dentrix, Eaglesoft, and other administrative software unique to the dental office manager role.
A combination of education and experience is most commonly held by those entering the profession, with a certificate or Associate's Degree in office administration and healthcare management offering a desirable background.
Dental professionals working in roles such as dental assistant or dental hygienist may also choose to advance to the position of office manager by completing a certification course offered by most community colleges programs.
Dental office management certification courses cover the necessary training in record management, sales, accounting, and dental insurance billing.