Dental assistants on cruise ships are typically needed for longer journeys. If you are interested in a dental assistant position on a cruise ship, stick to luxury cruise lines that sail internationally and cruise lines with Transatlantic crossings. The passengers on these extended cruises are more likely to require the services of a dentist than a shorter 5-7 day cruise.
On longer journeys, the dental assistant will assist the dentist with repairs, filings (if needed), and other emergency issues as well as assist with cleanings or minor cosmetic procedures such as whitening.
Dental assistants that work on cruise ships must have the same skills and licensing as assistants working on land. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Most dental-assisting programs offered by community and junior colleges, trade schools, technical institutes, or the Armed Forces take 1 year to complete. Two-year programs offered in community and junior colleges lead to an associate degree. All programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent, and some require science or computer-related courses for admission. A number of private vocational schools offer 4- to 6-month courses in dental assisting, but the Commission on Dental Accreditation does not accredit these programs. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved 281 dental-assisting training programs in 2009. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and pre-clinical instruction in dental-assisting skills and related theory.
For assistants to perform more advanced functions, or to have the ability to complete radiological procedures, many States require assistants to obtain a license or certification.
A period of on-the-job training is often required even for those who have completed a dental-assisting program or have some previous experience. Different dentists may have their own styles of doing things that need to be learned before an assistant can be comfortable working with them.
Because dental assistants must be a second pair of hands for a dentist, dentists look for individuals who are reliable, work well with others, and have good manual dexterity.
Dental assistants on cruise ships receive a salary ranging from $2,000-$2,500 per month, plus free travel to and from the ship, free accommodations, free meals, dental/health insurance, and retirement benefits.
To find a dental assistant job on a cruise ship, pick a cruise line and visit the line’s official website. You can find a directory of cruise lines here: www.shipsandcruises.com. Browse through openings at the cruise lines virtual employment center. If you find an opening that fits your background, simply follow the online application procedure. If the cruise line does not list job openings, send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department, which can be found on the “Contac Us” page. When submitting a resume, it is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager.
For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2010 cruise ship employment guide; you can read through cruise line profiles; you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions — and you can even apply for a cruise ship job right online. Please note that this website charges a fee. You can apply for a job on your own, free of charge, sign up with a placement agency, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.