Dental Office Manager Job Description & Salary Info
A dental office manager is responsible for all the administrative work in a dental office. The dental office manager coordinates marketing, budget office expenses, coordinates between staff and patients, manages human resources, ensures that patient’s history is taken accurately by the respected staff member, handle payroll etc. They also help the staff with scheduling patients’ appointments, billing and book keeping duties. Dental office managers are also responsible for updating patients’ files and maintaining client relationships.
Duties of dental office manager involve multiple tasks and works closely with the dentist and other staff members. Dental office manager also trains staff members. Dental officers usually don’t require performing clinical tasks, but they do ensure that the equipment is in order and proper stock is maintained. Dental office manager is the one who is responsible for proper management of the office functions. They also come up with marketing campaigns in order to attract new patients.
There is no specific educational requirement for the position of a dental office manager. A person can take a certificate or an associate degree program in dental office management. Certificate course offer training and classes on subjects such as dental health safety, medical terminology, medical and dental billing codes, bookkeeping, office technology etc. You can have an associate’s degree in office administration or some other related field. If you have a work experience of 1-5 years of managing a dental office, educational qualification is not given much important. If you have worked in some other industry in the field of business or customer service, then also you can take up dental office manager career.
If you have some previous work experience in a dental office in a clinical capacity, you can apply for 4-year dental office management certificate and degree completion programs in a community college. Programs are also offered for dental assistants and dental hygienists who would like to take additional responsibilities of a dental office manager. The coursework covers topics such as dental services reimbursement, records management, accounting etc.
People with good organizational skills and multitasking abilities to handle daily operation also hold good chances to get position of a dental office manager. They also require having good communication skills and phone etiquette,supervisory skills, administrative skills etc.
According to several job requirements, they prefer people knowing more than one language. So, it can be added advantage if you know a second language.To learn a second language, you can consider taking second language course in a college’s continuing education program. If you know medical translation, that also enhances your chances of getting a job. Some of the courses can be taken online.
The Pros and Cons of a Career in Dental Office Management
Before deciding on a career path, it is important that you understand pros and cons of a dental office manager career. You can enter into the profession of a dental office manager from various career fields. You might have to do various additional activities. 4-day week is quite common in this profession. There is a high demand of the dental office manager.
As a dental office manager, you have to keep yourself updated of the changes to regulations which take good effort. When you start your career as a dental office manager, initially you will get low salary. The entry level salaries are in the range $43,000 – $53,000. You have to pay much attention towards details which is required for billing. Sometimes you have to deal with very difficult patients which can be very challenging.
Salary and Career Prospects
There is a high demand for the dental office managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) report, it is expected that the demand for the dental office manager professionals will rise by 31% by the year 2020. This is more than average job growth. Dental office managers are paid moderate salaries in the range $32,000- $63,000. Experienced professional draw more salaries.
You can stand out from the competition by doing some volunteering work. It helps you with learning new skills and you also get a chance to network with others. You can do volunteering work with some professional or non-profit organizations, where you can join some activities such as developing a market campaign, raising of funds etc.
You can be a member of professional organization such as American Association of Dental Office Managers. Being a member of such organizations, you get access to the continuing education resources, get networking opportunities, and keep yourself updated of new industry standards. You can participate in professional development opportunities such as you can join a fellowship program if you have three years of dental office management experience.
If you are interested in health care field as well as administration and enjoy multitasking, then a career in dental office manager is the right for you.