Are you one of those people who loves getting your teeth cleaned? Do you go through dental floss quicker than anyone you know? If you answered “yes”, then a job in the dental industry may be a rewarding career choice for you.
There are a wide variety of dental jobs that have a lot to offer. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and gain satisfaction from helping others, there may be a job in this field that is a great fit for you.
Benefits of Working in the Dental Field
According to Business Wire, the global dentistry market is expected to grow by 6.4 percent between 2021 and 2028. As a result, it is projected to reach $554.5 billion by 2028.1
There will always be dentists and a constant need for dental health and hygiene. This means there will always be dental job opportunities and a lower-than-average unemployment rate.
The dental field has a reputation for paying well and often providing favorable medical benefit plans. But there is more to get excited about.
The wide range of dental job opportunities will allow you to move up the financial ladder if you desire.
Opportunity for Growth
You may choose one career and experience great satisfaction for many years. However, some may want to explore different areas within an industry. Fortunately, opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills are abundant in the dental field.2
Knowing that you are helping someone can result in personal and job satisfaction. Whether you are the receptionist, dental assistant, treatment coordinator, or dentist, you are there to help.
Whatever you do, you will be appreciated.
Dental Jobs and Salaries
There are such a variety of job options in the dental field. Here are the most common and popular dental jobs that are in high demand.
Salary: $139,870 per year3
A dentist is responsible for diagnosing and providing a variety of treatments for issues with a person’s teeth, gums, and other related areas of the mouth. While many dentists are general practitioners, some choose specialties such as pediatric dentistry, endodontics, or oral surgery.
A dentist needs a minimum of two degrees. They must obtain a bachelor’s degree prior to applying to a dental school. Dentists must also be licensed in the state that they wish to practice.4
Salary: $35,721 per year
A dental assistant provides chair-side support and patient care while the dentist completes examinations and dental procedures. This includes:
- Assisting with fillings, crowns, and tooth extractions;
- Preparing and taking dental molds and X-rays, and;
- A variety of administrative duties.
Becoming a dental assistant is a relatively short process. Formal education can be achieved through certificate programs at community colleges, technical institutes, universities, or dental schools. On average, it takes less than one year to complete the program.5
Salary: $61,507 per year
A dental hygienist provides preventive care while under a dentist’s supervision. While duties may differ between states, they generally include:
- Teeth cleaning;
- Examining the mouth for signs of diseases, damage, and gingivitis, and;
- Educating patients on proper oral health care.
A dental hygienist must be a graduate of an accredited dental hygiene school with an associate or bachelor’s degree.6
Salary: $30,264 per hour
As the office receptionist, you are responsible for:
- Greeting all patients;
- Scheduling, rescheduling, and cancelling appointments;
- Preparing patient charts for staff members and keeping them up to date;
- Preparing forms, and;
- Communicating with insurance companies.
A high school diploma or GED is generally required along with basic office, organizational, and communication skills. On top of this qualifications, some offices will require previous experience in a dental office.7
Dental Lab Technician
Salary: $52,210 per year
A dental technician creates and repairs dental devices, such as sports and night guards, crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, and orthodontics. These are usually prepared once a model of the patient’s mouth or tooth is made.
You will likely need a high school diploma to apply to an accredited dental laboratory technician program. This is a two-year program in a community college, vocational school, technical school, university, or dental school. There are some advanced four-year baccalaureate programs as well.8
Dental Supply/Equipment Sales Representative
Salary: $54,654 per year9
Since this type of job usually offers a salary plus commission, a dental supply sales representative can earn a great income if they are extremely good at their job. In fact, it is possible to make over $100,00 per year if you are knowledgeable, skilled, and organized.
Most dental supply companies will require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or science. Computer skills and medical terminology knowledge are also an asset.10
Dental Treatment Coordinator
Salary: $44,774 per year
A treatment coordinator is responsible for making sure the entire cycle of a patient’s needs is completed. That includes making sure the diagnosis and treatment is completed and paid for.
There is no formal training program for this job. However, there are a variety of skill-related courses available online.11
Remote Dental Billing Specialist
Salary: $45,861 per year
With more people working from home, this job can be quite rewarding. You will need to be familiar with all things dental insurance and be comfortable with medical and dental terminology. The salary varies depending on the number of hours you work and how busy the office is that you work for.12
For education, the American Dental Coders Association offers a 100 percent online certification course. The course is eight weeks long and costs $1,299 to enroll.13
Dental Office Manager
Salary: $51,780 per year
An office manager supervises most business aspects of the practice. This includes managing:
- Internal office protocols;
- Billing, and;
- Dental support staff.
Assisting patients with their billing and insurance plans is also part of their daily responsibilities.
A high school diploma is required, along with previous office management experience. Soft skills — such as friendliness, the ability to multi-task, and communicate effectively — are important to your success.14
The field of dentistry is a constantly growing one due to patient needs and advancements in treatments. A career in the dental field can offer security, great pay, many opportunities for growth, and job satisfaction.
Choosing a career path in the dental industry takes time and a bit of research, but it is worth the effort. Whatever your interests and career goals are, there may be a job opportunity that will offer you just the challenge and satisfaction that you are looking for.