Danthonia student Janelle Dunn recently completed a Certificate III in Dental Assisting with TAFE Digital in Armidale, and now plans to work in the dental industry when she finishes her high school curriculum in June.
She is part of a growing industry, with the number of dental assistants increasing over the past five years, and is expected to increase over the next five years.
With this growth, Armidale's TAFE Digital hub is promoting their online dental assisting course, which trains people to step into the industry.
"I chose this course because my mother and two of my friends have worked as dental assistants and I enjoy the work very much," Janelle said.
"This particular online course was also highly recommended by both my friends who have studied with TAFE Digital."
Janelle is still at high school, so while she hasn't formally started her career, she said the online study had definitely improved her knowledge.
According to the Australian Government's Job Outlook, the number of dental assistants is expected to grow over the next five years from 26,600 in 2018 to 28,400 by 2023.
There are likely to be around 16,000 job openings over five years - about 3200 a year.
Janelle said she was inspired to study online as she could work at her own pace and set time aside to catch up on assignments if she got a bit behind.
"The support I got from teaching staff was tremendous," Janelle said.
"They willingly answered my questions and did a good job of keeping me on track to make sure I met deadlines."
This nationally accredited qualification has helped Janelle become more competent in the part-time work she does at Danthonia Healthcare.
"It's a tremendous opportunity working at the dental practice, as I am becoming more familiar with the different dental procedures," she said.
"I especially enjoyed the course units that covered anatomy, mixing different materials and the uses of a wide variety of instruments."
For Janelle the best aspect about studying with TAFE Digital was that she could do the entire course online.
"This eliminated long-distance commutes as I live out on a farm in regional Australia," she said.
"I would recommend this course to anyone in a similar situation to me who wishes to study from the comfort of their own home."