On their Way to Becoming Dental Assistants Thanks to Tongue Point Job Corps
With one of the only dental assistant programs on the West Coast, Tongue Point Job Corps offers students from all across the nation an opportunity to head start their career in the dental industry.
“If you do do this program at Job Corps,” says student Ashley Peasley, “it helps you if you want to further your career, so like being a dental assistant first helps you if you want to go to school for like dental hygiene or to be a dentist. This is just the start of my career pretty much.”
At Tongue Point, students are taught the basics of dentistry, including anatomy, proper use of tools, teeth cleaning procedures, and overall patient care. But the students don’t just learn from books, they learn with actual hands-on instruction. Another student, Maria Maria Lopez, loves learning by doing.
“I chose this trade because I wanted something hands-on. I’m better learning with working with my hands than like just working with books.”
With lots of resources and free technical instruction, students are able to focus on learning, growing, and getting the skills they need to pursue a successful career.
With the same high quality instruction as a traditional higher education program, students are able to obtain a high paying job with 9-12 months of Job Corps training. The average U.S. salary for dental assistants is $18 an hour, but they can earn even more as they gain more work experience.
“[Job Corps] is a really good decision because it’s free,” adds Ashley, “it pays for everything, it helps you with the extra help that you need. If you need your high school diploma or GED, they help you with that; driver’s license, all your [certifications], it helps you get a career.”
Towards the end of their time at Job Corps, students get to perform a six week internship in their hometowns, also known as work-based learning. From there, they can start applying for jobs, or even get hired by the dentist they worked for.
“I really enjoy working as a dental assistant because you actually have communication with your patients,” says Maria. “You actually interact with your patients.”
Job Corps is a great place for students to grow and further develop their professional skills. With caring staff and ambitious students, it’s a great place to learn.
Tongue Point Instructor Sheri Hankel
For me the most satisfaction comes from watching the growth in the students from the time they start and towards the end, the 8th/9th month and getting their jobs and texting me and saying, ‘Hey, I got a raise,’ or you know, anything that they’re looking for in their future. It’s really exciting.”