i am a dental assistant, i love it. i also work front desk. well, i did, before i was laid off.
do you mean like a dental lab tech? or blood lab tech? i think theres a huge difference between the dental lab & dental office. if you enjoy working with patients, helping people, definitely become an assistant. but go all the way in your training, become a registered dental assistant. more money, more job opportunities, & you get to do more fun stuff, working in the patients mouth. good luck, i hope you enjoy it!
I have a friend who was a dental hygienist - it's very hard on your hands after a few years. Repetitive motion and gripping the instruments, the way you have to stand (including posture) to get to the teeth. It can be hard on you.
(1) which one appeals to you the most
(2) go and talk to people who actually do these jobs and find out what they say
(3) hit the Internet and see what the labor dept. and various other sources have to say about salaries (both now and in the future), anticipated future demand, etc.
(4) how much training is required (one year, two years? I haven't a clue, so you need to do some research) -- also, are there higher levels of pay, etc. that you could work your way up to via experience & education. (For example, in nursing you have certified nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses and then registered nurses and registered nurses with bachelor's degrees and then RNs with master's degrees and then nurse-practitioners. Do the careers you are looking at have levels like that? You may not want to climb to the top, but it would be valuable to know what the prospects are.)
(5) how close to you are schools where you can get training and how long will it take and how much will it cost
(6) how do the drawbacks and the advantages balance?
I only have experience as a dental patient, so I guess I can't help much there. Good luck!
If you mean dental lab technician, check the average pay in your area first. My husband is a dental lab technician and in the small towns they tent to pay more but in a bigger city, especially if they have a school for it, everyone is competing for the job. It sucks when employers view them as a dime a dozen.