Foundation Education
Dental Assistant helping with a procedure


Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Make your start in a career that predicts a high rate of employment growth and prepare yourself with the necessary skills and training required to work as a Dental Assistant.

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Get qualified in oral healthcare with a Certificate III in Dental Assisting

If you want to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them achieve a healthier smile and educate them on the importance of oral hygiene care, a career as a dental assistant might be perfect for you.

The HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting equips you with the required experience, training and expertise to work in the oral healthcare industry in a variety of dental assistant jobs. This dental assistant course reflects the role of workers who assist dental practitioners during oral healthcare procedures. From maintaining high standards of infection control to assisting with practice administration and supporting quality in the dental sector, the responsibilities of a dental assistant are all-encompassing and varied. With a Certificate III in Dental Assisting qualification, you’ll be successfully prepared to work in a clinical environment.

There are several career pathways possible once you’ve attained this qualification. Graduates are eligible to apply for positions in a variety of settings, including private dental practices (including specialist practices such as orthodontics) and public dental practices (like school dental clinics, community health centres and residential care facilities). You might work as a dental sterilisation nurse, dental therapy assistant or dental receptionist. If you’re hoping to progress your study with a HLT45021 Certificate IV in Dental Assisting, this dental assistant course (or one of its superseded predecessors) is a mandatory minimum requirement.  

Delivered online with practical requirements of 350 hours, the Certificate III in Dental Assisting will ensure you’re qualified in just 12 months from commencing your studies. According to Job Outlook, there has been strong employment growth in the dental assistant sector in the past five years and this is expected to continue well into the next five years, meaning there is high demand and security for dental assistant jobs.

Dental assistants are highly sought after and well paid. A HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting will set you up with a long-lasting, successful career in the healthcare sector.


The HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting is a Nationally Recognised course.

Course Outcomes

Once you’ve completed your dental assistant course, you’ll be qualified to apply for an exciting choice of dental assistant roles in both the private and public healthcare sector. The skills and knowledge gained from a HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting are transferrable to numerous careers. There’s no need to limit the opportunities that will be made available to you – these are just an example of the career outcomes possible with this course.

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants will assist dentists, hygienists and therapists with a mixture of dental procedures. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to prepping for procedures and cleaning up afterwards, assisting through the duration of the treatments (such as passing instruments and operating the suction apparatus), developing X-rays and carrying out general administrative duties.

Dental Therapy Assistant

Dental Therapy Assistant

As a registered healthcare professional, a dental therapy assistant specialises in the oral care of children and teenagers. Their main role is to provide help prepping young patients for examinations and treatments to improve productivity in the workplace. Dental therapy assistants focus on patient care and ensuring patients feel comfortable and receive all the necessary information regarding their examination or procedure.

Dental Sterilisation Nurse

Dental Sterilisation Nurse

Dental sterilisation nurses play a pivotal role in the dental practice. They are responsible for cleaning the instruments used in procedures, keeping the environment clean and adhering to strict infection control guidelines. The proper sterilisation of equipment is an essential part of dentistry and it’s the dental sterilisation nurse’s job to ensure they provide their patients with the highest quality dental care.

Dental Receptionist

Dental Receptionist

A dental receptionist ensures the dental practice operates smoothly and efficiently. Their responsibilities are wide and varied, ranging from being the first point of contact with patients, managing incoming calls, scheduling appointments, assisting patients with forms and advising them of policies, handling general administration, handling test results and communicating with supply vendors. They need to be highly organised with fantastic interpersonal skills.

Dental Hygenist Assistant

Dental Hygienist Assistant

With a focus on promoting oral health and preventing periodontal disease, a dental hygienist assistant assists dental hygienists and dentists in a broad range of procedures. The workload is highly interesting and the day-to-day tasks often vary. Their duties include assisting with check-ups and teeth cleaning as well as being an integral part of patient education on proper dental care and preventative care.

Course snapshot

Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Delivery structure

Theoretical Elements: 

Study the theoretical elements of this course, anywhere and anytime through our online learning platform. 

Practical Elements: 

350 hours of practical work placement is required for this course. For mandatory work placement (350 hours, including an initial 50 hours completed in simulation), students must have access to a dental practice and a qualified supervisor i.e. a person who holds Certificate III in Dental Assisting or a higher relevant qualification.


    Up to 12 months

    Study load
    • 350 hours of practical work placement.
    • 10 course units to complete.
    • Submit 1 course unit every 5 weeks to graduate in 12 months.
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    Delivery Structure

    Studying the Certificate III in Dental Assisting with Foundation Education is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs. The course is broken down into two parts:

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    1. Theoretical

    Study the theoretical elements of this course, anywhere and anytime through our online learning platform.


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    8 course units to complete.
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    Completed online, at your own pace.

    Resources Required

    For the online part of the course, you’ll need regular access to:

    Computer: Laptop or desktop computer with working speakers or headphone points.

    Internet: High-speed internet such as Broadband or ADSL, T1/T2, fibre optic (Dial-up access is not recommended).

    Windows: Operating system – Windows 8 or above.

    MAC: Operating system - OS X 10.14 Mojave or later.

    Internet Browser: Google Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.

    Software: Flash, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word (or Open Office which is free to download).

    Office Equipment:  Printer and scanner to print and upload some of your assessments.

    Mobile Phone with Video Capability or Video Camera: Some assessments in your course may require you to take and submit videos of you undertaking tasks for assessment.

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    2. Work Placement

    For mandatory work placement (350 hours, including an initial 50 hours completed in simulation), students must have access to a dental practice and a qualified supervisor i.e. a person who holds Certificate III in Dental Assisting or higher relevant qualification.


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    Students may need to undertake a Working with Children Check to meet individual work placement employer requirements.
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    Where required, we may assist you in identifying work placement options.


    Achieve your qualification by completing the following units of competency:

    Certificate III in Dental Assisting

    Cost & Payment

    You can pay for your course upfront via VISA/MasterCard or a bank deposit. Alternatively, we offer instalment plans that can be paid over several weeks or fortnights.

    Your course fee includes

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    Delivery and assessment of your qualification

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    Study materials (including all resources)

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    Ongoing support from our Education Team

    We offer two payment methods

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    Full fee upfront

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    Instalment plans

    For more information about the course costs, please call us on 1300 616 197.

    Discover our funding options

    Explore our government funding programs on offer and find out whether you're eligible. Learn more.

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