A trainee dental nurse holding a piggy bank

Dental Nurse salary and cost breakdown in the UK

Dental Nurse salary and cost breakdown in the UK

Dental Nurse salaries in the UK span from £21,730 to £32,934. The beginning of this salary banding is the average annual salary for newly qualified nurses, while the end of the banding is the average annual salary for experienced nurses with additional skills.

While dental nursing is an incredibly fulfilling and success-driving career, we understand the importance of understanding that it is a worthwhile investment before jumping straight in with training. This blog aims to outline the cost of achieving each salary stage, to bring clarity over the funding for this career.

What is the average dental nurse salary in the UK and what can make it higher?

As mentioned earlier, the median average salary for dental nurses in the UK is currently £27,332. However, this varies on several factors, and can be more or less depending on the following:

  • Experience:
    • Entry-Level: Qualified dental nurses’ basic salary starts between band 3 and band 4 of the NHS Agenda for charge.
    • Mid-Level (1-4 years of experience): Senior dental nurses can go up to band 5 or higher of the NHS Agenda for charge.
  • Location:
    • Salaries can vary based on the region within the UK. For instance, in London or other major cities with a higher cost of living, dental nurses may earn higher basic salaries compared to rural areas. In London, salaries can be 10-15% higher on average.
  • Qualifications and Specialisations:
    • Obtaining additional qualifications or certifications, such as dental radiography or oral health education, can increase a dental nurse’s marketability and earning potential.
  • Public or Private Sector Dental Practice:
    • Working in a private treatment practice often yields higher salaries compared to the NHS. Private dental practices generally have more flexibility in setting salaries based on demand and revenue.
  • Work Hours and Overtime:
    • Overtime pay or working additional hours can also boost a dental nurse’s earnings. Some dental nurses work evening shifts or weekends, which often come with additional pay incentives.

How much does it cost to do a dental nursing course for beginners?

A trainee dental nurse

The cost to get started as a dental nurse depends on if you are happy to jump straight in with the National Diploma course, or do a taster session first.

Additionally, should you want to progress your career further, you have the option to do several other courses, which will give you the opportunity to increase your salary.

Here are some popular professional development course options, but note that this is a non-conclusive list:

Due to the fact that a lot of these courses can be done online, you do not need to factor in commuting costs or accommodation. This makes dental nurse training costs significantly lower than a significant amount of medical or dental-related undergraduate courses.

Furthermore, it currently costs £9250 a year to attend University in England. In addition to the maintenance costs associated with attending university, and the rising interest rates to pay student loans back, it is incredibly sensible to consider alternative courses that allow you to avoid these costs.

Please note that we are not about discouraging anybody from attending University, but very much believe that young people and anyone considering changing career, should have access to understanding every option that is available to them, instead of simply being pushed into University.

Are dental nursing courses in London more expensive?

Typically dental nursing courses in London cost about the same, or a little bit more than the rest of the UK. One thing that makes a significant difference is the fact that the cost of living in London is about 58% higher than the rest of the UK, and therefore choosing to study and live there would be more costly.

However, since most dental nursing courses are online now, you are not required to live or commute to London to attend all of these courses.

A male dental nurse holding money

For example, the National Diploma for dental nursing is entirely online, so you can live elsewhere and complete the course. However, some other CPD courses such as implant training, may require you to be present in the classroom, so that you have access to equipment, observations and in-person feedback.

Can you do a dental nursing course online and still work to earn money?

The NEBDN National Diploma in Dental Nursing runs for 12 months, if completed full-time. However, depending very much on your own circumstances, you may find that you will also be able to work part-time while completing the course.

Overall, yes, it is possible to pursue a dental nursing course online while still working to earn money. Online dental nursing courses provide a flexible learning platform that allows individuals to balance their studies with work and other commitments.

Advantages of Online Dental Nursing Courses:

  • Flexibility: Online courses offer flexibility in terms of when and where you can study. This flexibility enables working professionals to maintain their jobs while studying at their own pace during evenings, weekends, or other non-working hours.
  • Self-Paced Learning: Online courses often allow students to progress through the material at their own pace. This means you can dedicate more time to difficult topics while swiftly moving through content you find easier to grasp.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Online courses can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person courses, especially when considering travel and accommodation expenses. Additionally, many online programs offer various payment options, making education more accessible.

Our Advice to Balance Work and Online Study:

  • Create a Schedule: Develop a realistic study schedule that fits around your work hours. Allocate specific time blocks for studying, assignments, and exams.
  • Time Management: Learn effective time management skills to juggle work, studies, and personal commitments. Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and importance.
  • Communicate with Employers: Inform your employer about your decision to pursue an online dental nursing course. Discuss your study requirements and see if they can offer any flexibility or support.
  • Seek Support: If needed, seek guidance from course instructors or academic advisors to help manage the workload effectively. Our tutors are always happy to help!

Conclusion: full salary vs cost breakdown

A set of teeth holding money

Overall, dental nursing proves to be a highly cost-effective career path. First and foremost, the educational requirements and associated costs for training are relatively reasonable compared to many other job paths in the healthcare sector.

Moreover, the duration of the training is relatively shorter, allowing individuals to enter the workforce and start earning a stable income sooner. Following successful completion of your course, you can quickly recover your educational costs faster and start building a secure financial foundation.

Additionally, the demand for dental nurses remains relatively high, ensuring job security and a steady stream of employment opportunities. Given the practical skills that you will learn, you cannot be easily replaced.

Overall, considering the educational costs, training duration, job prospects, and potential for career growth, dental nursing stands out as a cost-effective and promising career path.

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