For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list ranking the best jobs of the year, according to ADA News.
Occupations are ranked based on U.S. News’ calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between zero and 10. These components are: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.
Dentists scored an overall score of 8.2; orthodontists, 8.1; and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 7.7.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings,” according to the U.S. News & World Report. “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of best jobs.”
The magazine also reports that orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, with about 1,500 new job openings for orthodontists and 1,200 new jobs for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
But if you don’t want to extend your schooling, could you still get a good job in the dentistry sector. The answer is yes! Although dental therapy is an up-and-coming position that isn’t quite as common in the U.S. as other countries, an article at Dr. Bicuspid says that many Americans would be happy to see this midlevel provider:
Americans overwhelmingly support the concept of dental therapists, according to the results of a recent phone survey. Interviewers asked thousands of registered U.S. voters if they would like a new type of midlevel provider similar to a nurse practitioner, and 80% of respondents said yes . . .
Critics are concerned that dental therapists will not provide the same standard of care as a dentist. They also tend to be skeptical that therapists can increase access to dental care or reduce costs.
Meanwhile, proponents of midlevel providers point to evidence that dental therapists effectively reduce untreated caries, not only in the few U.S. states that have approved their use but also abroad. In addition, support for midlevel providers appears to be gaining momentum.
Dental therapy is a great route because you’d be able to offer your services to those who in the past would have to opt out of dental care. Dental therapists are highly trained to perform preventative dentistry and pediatric dentistry procedures under the guidance of a dentist.