5 High-Growth Careers in Dentistry

In Career Advice
December 27, 2016

Careers in Dentistry

Adequate oral hygiene is a large portion of a person’s overall health. Because dentists are doctors of oral health, they are responsible for diagnosing oral diseases, performing routine checkups for preventative health, interpreting xrays, performing surgical procedures, and promoting overall oral health.

However, while dentists perform many important duties, they need a team of dental professionals to assist them. A dental team typically consists of dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists — all working together to increase efficiency, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Here is a brief description of the healthcare careers that make up a dental team:

5 High-Growth Careers in Dentistry:

1. Dentist

Dentist - Careers in Dentistry

The dentist acts as the head of the dental team, overseeing the other members to ensure safe and effective oral healthcare. Dentists are known for enjoying a good work-life balance while earning a competitive income — a median hourly wage of $68.48 and yearly wage of $142,428, to be exact.

To become a dentist, one must earn either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from one of over 65 dental schools in the United States and obtain licensure.

Earning a degree from a dental program can open up many professional opportunities in hospitals, private practices, laboratories, education, and even travel. For more detailed information on dentists, check out the career profile page. Visit our category page to browse current dentist job openings.

2. Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist - Careers in Dentistry

Dental hygienists work alongside dentists to clean teeth, examine patients to help diagnose oral diseases, educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health, and provide other preventive dental care.

There is an increasing demand for dental hygienists, with a projected job outlook of 19% which is much higher than average.

More than half of dental hygienists work part-time, and the pay is comfortable — an hourly median of $34.77 and a yearly median of $72,330.

To become a dental hygienist, one needs to complete an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, which typically takes three years to finish. In addition, all states require dental hygienists to be licensed. To view current hospital career openings, visit our dental hygienist category page.

3. Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant - Careers in Dentistry

The third member of a typical dental team is a dental assistant. Dental assistants interact with patients and the other members of the dental team to do a variety of tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to scheduling appointments and record-keeping duties.

Similar to dental hygienists, dental assistants are in high demand, with an 18% projected job growth. As far as salary, they earn a median of $17.30 hourly and $35,980 annually.

Most dental assistants work full time in dental offices. To become one, there are several options that vary by state — some require completion of an accredited program as well as a passing score on an exam, while other states require no formal education. Visit our category page to explore current dental assistant job openings.

4. Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental Laboratory Technician - Dental Careers

Dental laboratory technicians work to fulfill a patient’s treatment plan, working alongside the dentist, by crafting dental prostheses such as dentures, bridges, and crowns to be implemented. They also assist in deciding on which type of material would be most effective for a particular patient, as well as what ought to be done in the even of further damage in the future.

These technicians, like most other occupations in the dental field, have a projected job growth rate 10% and can expect to earn roughly $16.32 hourly, or $33,950 annually.

Working primarily in medical manufacturing laboratories, health and personal care stores, and other healthcare facilities, dental laboratory technicians may be exposed to health and/or safety hazards by working with certain materials or chemicals.

5. Dental Receptionist

Dental Receptionist - Careers in Dentistry

At every medical and dental office in the country, you’ll be greeted by a receptionist tasked with scheduling appointments, sending out reminders, handling patient payments, and other administrative tasks in order to keep the wheels of the office turning. They are a necessary component to any functional and efficient office environment.

The projected job growth rate for dental receptionists sits currently at 10%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they can expect to ear $13.12 per hour, or $27,300 annually.

Most receptionists find work in the offices of healthcare practitioners, at other personal care facilities, or even in veterinarian’s offices. If you’re currently on the hunt for a new position, you can search our openings on our dental receptionist category page.

Summary

Although some are more lucrative than others, every career we’ve listed sits at an above-average job growth rate and is sure to be a good choice for future employment. Depending on your individual circumstances, motivations, and the level of education you’re interested in pursuing, dentistry could play a big role in your future!

Regardless of what you choose, we at HospitalCareers.com hope to be your career connection in everything healthcare. Check back for more dental openings frequently as our listings are updated daily!

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