InDemand: Dental Assistant
After staying home with her children for several years, Rebecca Ligouri was looking to go back to work in a career that did not need extensive schooling.
She began to take classes at Massanutten Technical Center to become a dental assistant. Today, she works at Massanutten Dental Team and Oral Surgery in Rockingham County.
“It’s very rewarding to help others in the dental field, especially those who have had bad experiences previously," Ligouri said. "Dentistry has come a long ways from how it was done before. It’s much closer to being pain-free.”
While at Massanutten Technical Center, she volunteered at Massanutten Dental Team through a program called “Dentistry from the Heart," which helps provide free dental work in the community. That eventually led to her job.
“It was everything. That was the reason I got my foot in the door in the first place,” Ligouri said.
According to economic statistics provided by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, the typical salary range for a dental assistant is between $27,500 and $51,300 per year. Over the next decade, there is a projected need for 58 more of these jobs in the region.
“Preventative dentistry, such as cleanings, is on the rise, and so more people are seeking dental care,” Ligouri said.