Dental Assistant Traineeships 2018

In this section you'll find the following: 


SA Dental Service is part of SA Health and provides a range of dental services for eligible children and adults. There are 50 clinics located across the metropolitan and country areas of South Australia; some clinics are located in GP+ Health Centres, Hospitals, Community Health Centres and some on school grounds.

Oral health services are provided through a team approach with Dentists, Dental Therapists, Dental Assistants, Dental Technicians, Dental Hygienists supported by reception staff to care for clients.

Our services are provided through 2 clinical areas :

Statewide Dental Services – provides general dental services at clinics across South Australia in the metropolitan area and throughout the country areas via :

  • The School Dental Service – all South Australian children (aged up to 17 years) are eligible
  • The Community Dental Service – providing eligible adults with a range of general, emergency and denture services.

The Adelaide Dental Hospital – provides Specialist Oral Health Care services and is also the centre for undergraduate dental education in South Australia in conjunction with the University of Adelaide.

SA Dental Service works in partnership with the University of Adelaide to educate and train many of the State’s dental professionals, including dentists and dental therapists.

We also offer Dental Assistant Traineeships.

Dental Assistant Traineeships

A Dental Assistant Traineeship is a 12 month program incorporating on the job training under supervision to develop the competency and skills required of a qualified Dental Assistant in addition to undertaking the Certificate III in Dental Assisting at TafeSA.

Each DA Trainee has an initial 8 week probation period during which time they and the employer assess their suitability for the 12 month program.

During the 12 month program Trainee Dental Assistants learn and develop the skills to:

  • Assist the dental operator with the treatment of clients,
  • Mix a range of materials,
  • Maintain the cleanliness and infection control standards required in the clinic area
  • Develop and mount x-rays,
  • Clean instruments and equipment
  • Provide information to clients as directed by the dental operator.
  • Undertake general administrative tasks including greeting and meeting clients, making appointments, answering telephone calls and entering patient details into records.

The DA Traineeship involves working closely with dental operators and their clients therefore communication skills and a willingness to learn about and assist in the oral health management of clients are essential.

At the completion of the 12 month training program, Dental Assistant Trainees will have developed skills to enable them to gain their DA qualification to work in a diverse range of environments such as general and specialty areas, teaching clinics and aged care.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for a SA Dental Service Traineeship candidates must be

A resident of South Australia

  • Aged between 17 and 24 years of age or
  • 7 and 30 years of age if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
  • We provide 2 DA traineeships reserved for ATSI candidates.

No previous dental experience is required for a SA Dental Service DA Traineeship but it would be an advantage to gain some relevant work experience to make sure this pathway is for you.

(Please note - SA Dental Service is not able to provide work experience unless you are a Secondary School Student within an organised School work experience program).

On the Job Training Component - SA Dental Service

DA Trainees work under supervision in a SA Dental Service clinic and are mentored by experienced staff to develop their skills and knowledge to enable them to be job ready at the end of their 12 month contract of training.

The National Training Wage Traineeship Program Award of Pay determines trainee award wages. Rates of pay for Trainees reflect time spent at work and TAFE.

The rate for each Trainee is calculated on the highest level of schooling achieved and the time since completion of their schooling.

The training wage is paid fortnightly into a bank, building society or credit union account. Income tax is automatically deducted prior to the money being paid.

Trainees with SA Dental Service are

  • Subject to the same terms and conditions of employment that apply to other SA Dental Service employees.
  • Entitled to an annual uniform allowance for uniforms which are purchased from the SA Dental Service supplier.
  • Entitled to 20 days annual leave to be taken prior to completion of the traineeship.
  • Entitled to paid sick leave which is accrued through the year.

Trainees are not guaranteed employment at the end of their traineeship, however are eligible to apply for South Australian public sector positions advertised on the SA Health Careers website including the SA Dental Service Dental Assistant Candidate Pool.

Recommended action

To keep updated on DA Traineeship selection processes we recommend registering for a “Job Alert” on the SA Health Careers website.

  1. Log onto the SA Health careers website
  2. When the page is loaded, select the “Job Alert” button on the left hand side.
  3. Enter your email address
  4. Keywords : Dental Assistant
  5. Tick the following items to ensure that all dental advertisements are drawn to your attention
  • Categories : Select All
  • Locations :Select All
  • Work Type : Select All

The job alert will last 90 days and details can be updated if required.

As positions are advertised, registered users will be sent an email to your nominated email address which will provide information of the positions available and a link to the position’s online application form.

For more information please see our Dental assistant traineeship information sheet. 

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