Dental Assistant | Western Technical College

Dental Assistant

Technical Diploma

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Eligible

Typical Start: 


Take on an important role in the healthcare field by becoming a dental assistant. You’ll work closely with patients as you guide them toward good oral health practices. In addition to assisting the dentist as he or she examines and treats patients, you may also have opportunities to work in a dental lab, take x-rays, schedule appointments, and/or manage the office. Our technical diploma curriculum prepares you to enter a private practice for a dentist or group of dentists, or to work with national, state, or local agencies that provide dental services. Chairside skills, dental anatomy, dental radiography, oral hygiene, OSHA standards, and communication skills are all included in the program.

Graduates may become certified by completing an examination by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Program-specific courses are held in the Health Science Center, a shared facility located a few blocks from the La Crosse main campus. Check our maps page for specific location information.

*Please note that the delivery method for courses may change as the COVID-19 situation proceeds. Our goal is to ensure that teaching and learning happens in a safe environment. We will communicate updates as quickly as possible.

Dental Assistant image
Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Dental Assistant

This program will cost about $6,000* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Dental Assistant 2018-2019 Graduation Employment Stats

Graduates Responding11
Employed in Related Occupation10
Employed in Non-related Occupations0
Seeking Employment0
Continuing Education0
Not in Labor Market0

Salary Data - Related Employment

Part TimeFull Time
Average Hours Per Week38
Median Hourly Wage$15.75
Hourly Wage Range $14.40-$17.00
Median Annual Salary $31,068.00

Respondents in Related Occupations

  • Dental Assistant; Dr. Lehrke, La Crosse, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Endodontist Specialists LLC, Onalaska, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Pediatric Dentistry, Eau Claire, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Midwest Dental, La Crosse, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Deer Creek Dental Office, Tomah, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Gentle Family Dentistry, La Crosse, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Midwest Dental, La Crosse, WI
  • Dental Assistant; Sparta Dental Center, Sparta, WI

Career Opportunities

Dental Assistant
Dental Office Manager
Chairside Dental Assistant
Dental/Ortho Assistant
Dental Review Coordinator

Program Outcomes

  • Living responsibly
  • Refining professionalism
  • Cultivating passion
  • Perform a variety of advanced supportive dental procedures
  • Manage infection and hazard control
  • Produce diagnostic intraoral and extraoral radiographs on a variety of patients
  • Perform advanced dental laboratory procedures
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethics, and appearance
  • Perform dental office business procedures

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee
High School Transcript or GED/HSED

Program Requirements

Western Technical College uses ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures your abilities in reading, sentence skills, and arithmetic. This information will be used to place you in courses that best fit your academic goals. Based on your scores, you may need to take additional general studies course(s) along with the general studies courses required for your program.

Several options for waiving the ACCUPLACER test are available; view the waivers here.

Learn more about placement tests and how they are used at Western: Placement Testing.

Additional Requirements:

To enroll in the Dental Assistant program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program's Essential Functions and complete a background check.  You can find links to these documents below.  In addition, you must complete a Job Shadow at a dental office.  The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.


The program in Dental Assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:


Additional Information

Program Contact

Lisa Mikkelson
Program Chair, Dental Assistant

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