How to Become a Dental Orthodontic Office Manager: Complete 2022 Guide

Orthodontic office managers are responsible for a wide array of tasks in their day-to-day operations. Like office managers in any industry, orthodontic office managers play a pivotal role in many different aspects of an office – but they also have unique duties related to the field of orthodontics.

If you’re interested in becoming an orthodontic office manager, this guide can help you understand the inner workings of this demanding and rewarding career.

Orthodontic Office Manager Job Overview

Generally, each orthodontic office has one office manager, although some offices may have two or have one manager and one assistant office manager. If an orthodontic practice has multiple locations, there will usually be a different office manager for each location.

The orthodontic office manager is primarily responsible for the day-to-day successful operations of the practice. The manager ensures that the workplace is functioning safely and effectively for both staff members and patients and visitors. Some of the many areas of concern for an orthodontic office manager include:

  • Employee hiring, training, supervision, and discipline
  • Monitoring sales 
  • Quality control 
  • Health & Safety
  • Regulatory concerns
  • Information flow
  • Budgeting & revenue 
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Business processes

As the list above demonstrates, the orthodontic office manager is a demanding and complex role, requiring a number of different skills sets and areas of knowledge. For that reason, most office managers first gain experience as office assistants or dental assistants before rising to the role of office manager.

Because orthodontic practices are considered medical facilities, orthodontic office managers are also responsible for complying with strict local, state, and federal compliance regulations. This includes stringent policies regarding patient privacy, infection control, sterility practices, and more. A successful orthodontic office manager must have a deep understanding of these regulations, and stay abreast of any changes or updates.

Orthodontic office manager positions are generally full-time and salaried, since managing an office requires an intense amount of involvement and dedication.

According to data gathered by the employment website PayScale, orthodontic or dental office managers make a median salary of $50,983, or an hourly rate of $22.11/hour. Real pay varies depending on where in the country your office is located (especially if it’s a city or a small town), and the experience of the applicant. Office managers can expect raises if they continue in their job for several years.

Depending on the office, this position may be eligible for benefits, like health insurance, 401(k), and paid time off. Be sure to ask about benefits when applying to a new office manager position.

What Skills are Needed to Be a Great Dental or Orthodontic Office Manager

Due to the demanding, diverse nature of the position, there are quite a few qualities necessary to be an accomplished orthodontic office manager.

Some of these include:

  • Strong leadership & management 
  • Business negotiation 
  • Organizational skills
  • Deadline-oriented
  • Excellent communication and customer service
  • Adaptiblity and high stress tolerance
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Teamwork and delegating
  • Calm under pressure

While some individuals are more naturally gifted at management, some of these skills can be developed on the job. Most orthodontic practices look for office managers with prior experience in an office setting, to make sure an applicant has demonstrated the above qualities.

What is Required to Become an Orthodontic Office Manager?

To be hired as an orthodontic office manager, you will need at least a high school degree and some amount of experience in customer service.

Most orthodontic practices prefer applicants to have direct experience in a dental or orthodontic facility, as well as supervisory or management experience. Many practices also prefer a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, although this can be substituted by more years of experience in a dental/orthodontic office.

Applicants will need to be at least 18 years old and legally permitted to work in the United States.

How to Find an Orthodontic or Dental Office Manager Position

If this sounds like the job for you, then the next question is, how to find an office that’s hiring?

Here are some tips for finding your dream job as an orthodontic office manager.

  1. Online job sites: ZipRecruiter, Indeed, CareerBuilder, SImplyHired, Craigslist, etc. In the digital age, online job sites are the go-to place to find open office manager positions in your area. To find the right job for you, you can also filter your preferences, like par-time  or full-time work, minimum pay, and the distance from the office to your home.
  2. Contact orthodontic practices in your area. Don’t be shy about reaching out to local orthodontic practices: give them a call, send an email, or even drop by the office and ask to speak to a manager about open positions. Even if they aren’t hiring, they may keep you in mind for future openings.
  3. Join an orthodontic office manager Facebook group. Social media offers people in similar fields to connect, share resources, and may have tips about getting hired. Plus, it’s a great way to meet others in your line of work!
  4. Search dental job boards like sites like only show hiring opportunities in the dental field, making it easier to find suitable positions.
  5. Ask your friends and family in the dental field. If you have a friend of family member working in the dental or orthodontic industry, ask them about their practice and any open positions. They may also know of other nearby offices that are hiring. And a reference from someone who knows you well can go a long way in getting hired!

Interested in an office manager position with Diamond Braces?