Dentist Salary

Dentist’s Salary Information

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Dentist’s Job Description
Dentist’s Training and Education

Dentists are medical doctors who deal exclusively with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the teeth and mouth. They perform regular check-ups and cleanings, instruct patients on proper oral hygiene and dental care, and even conduct oral surgery when needed.

The Skinny on Salaries

Dentist-SalaryDentistry ranks as of the more lucrative medical professions, with general dentists earning an annual average of $161,750, or $77.76 per hour. Of course, specialized dentists like orthodontists will typically earn considerably more; however, even those in general dentistry will typically earn a healthy six-figure salary. Those in entry-level positions may even begin at an annual salary between $80,000 and $105,000, while those with more experience can earn well over $200,000.

Determining Factors

Obviously, as we’ve mentioned, a dentist just starting out in a practice will almost certainly earn less than a dentist with years of experience under his belt. As in many industries, seniority typically translates into a larger client base – and higher asking prices for your work. Of course, this assumes that with experience comes skill. If a dentist has been practicing for many years but performs shoddy work, he’ll quickly earn a bad name and lose his clients (and thus his earnings).

Education does also play a large role in a dentist’s salary. Training even for general dentistry is intense, and pursuing an advanced degree is even more so. A dentist will need to train for at least four years before they can even go into an internship or residency. In spite of this, many dentists will choose to pursue a master’s degree or a doctorate in dentistry as this will almost automatically ensure a higher annual salary. The reputation of the school the dentist attends may also play a role in the offers he receives.

Along the same lines, the more specialized a dentist is the higher salary he can expect. The simple economics of supply and demand in specialized fields like cosmetic dentistry or dental surgery ensure that a specialized dentist will earn more than a general dentist. More and more people are willing to pay for restorative or cosmetic dental work, and the demand is driving up the starting salaries for dentists who specialize in these fields.

A dentist’s salary may also be significantly impacted by whether or not he chooses to go into private practice. This aspect is a bit harder to quantify, as there are so many factors involved; however, it does have a significant bearing on a dentist’s earnings. A dentist with a private practice will typically earn a much higher salary than one employed at a fixed salary by a hospital or clinic. At the same time, a private practitioner will not receive the benefits and perks that come with a salaried position. A private practitioner will also need to cover all his own malpractice insurance costs.

Those who choose to go into private practice may find that their paycheck is largely determined by how much they work. A dentist’s hours are quite flexible, and a large number of dentists work no more than 35 to 40 hours in a week. Those running their own practice, however, may choose to work many more hours, as the more patients they see the more they earn.

Industry Breakdown

The type of employer or industry a dentist works in will have a noticeable impact on his paycheck. As you can see, a dentist working in the public sector – for example, in education – will typically earn far less than one working in a private clinic. Those working in public, federally managed hospitals, for example, may earn between $80,000 and $120,000 a year, while a private practitioner may earn well over $200,000. For this reason, many dentists will strive to open their own practice once they’ve gained sufficient experience.

INDUSTRY

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Offices of Dentists

$79.22

$164,780

Offices of Physicians

$66.51

$138,330

General Medical & Surgical Hospitals

$51.97

$108,100

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

$76.74

$159,620

Other Ambulatory Health Care Services

$70.58

$146,810

Outpatient Care Centers

$66.11

$137,500

Educational Services

$50.97

$106,010

Geographic Breakdown

Finally, geographic location does play a very large role in determining salaries. Those working in rural areas typically earn less than those working in metropolitan areas. Salaries also vary greatly from one state to the next, ranging from an annual average salary of $237,430 in New Hampshire to the national low average of $119,590 in Montana.

STATE

AVERAGE HOURLY

AVERAGE ANNUAL

Alabama

$98.62

$205,130

Alaska

$93.92

$195,350

Arizona

$88.14

$183,330

Arkansas

$83.13

$172,920

California

$71.20

$148,100

Colorado

$66.61

$138,540

Connecticut

$79.90

$166,200

Delaware

$101.17

$210,440

District of Colombia

$59.40

$123,560

Florida

$70.44

$146,520

Georgia

$92.22

$191,810

Hawaii

$74.76

$155,490

Idaho

$90.37

$187,960

Illinois

$58.48

$121,650

Indiana

$88.50

$184,090

Iowa

$97.42

$202,640

Kansas

$62.77

$130,550

Kentucky

$62.31

$129,610

Louisiana

$74.62

$155,210

Maine

$100.03

$208,060

Maryland

$72.20

$150,180

Massachusetts

$86.64

$180,210

Michigan

$77.98

$162,200

Minnesota

$90.62

$188,500

Mississippi

$73.84

$153,590

Missouri

$64.51

$134,180

Montana

$57.50

$119,590

Nebraska

$76.70

$159,540

Nevada

$75.99

$158,050

New Hampshire

$114.15

$237,430

New Jersey

$72.57

$150,940

New Mexico

$83.07

$172,790

New York

$73.01

$151,860

North Carolina

$97.30

$202,380

North Dakota

$98.92

$205,760

Ohio

$81.84

$170,220

Oklahoma

$77.19

$160,560

Oregon

$96.26

$200,230

Pennsylvania

$74.88

$155,740

Rhode Island

$63.55

$132,180

South Carolina

$75.30

$156,630

South Dakota

$64.74

$134,660

Tennessee

$82.25

$171,080

Texas

$82.37

$171,330

Utah

$60.35

$125,540

Vermont

$94.14

$195,800

Virginia

$93.77

$195,050

Washington

$97.23

$202,240

West Virginia

$71.18

$148,050

Wisconsin

$83.32

$173,310

Wyoming

$72.40

$150,590