Best jobs: Dentistry makes top ten list for 2021

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Best jobs: Dentistry makes top ten list for 2021


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Report on U.S. professions finds that jobs in oral health care have a high salary and low unemployment. (Image: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)
Jeremy Booth, Dental Tribune International

By Jeremy Booth, Dental Tribune International

Wed. 27. January 2021


WASHINGTON, U.S.: This year, there are only eight jobs that are better than that of dentist, according to the 2021 list of best jobs in the U.S. compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The media company’s annual jobs report provides rankings lists and research related to professions, and dentist was ranked ninth on the 2021 Best Jobs list.

U.S. News reported not only that dentists have a high salary and low unemployment, but that the profession offers strong employment opportunities. It noted that dentists have a median salary of $155,600 (€127,850) and an unemployment rate of 0.2% and that an estimated 3,700 dentistry jobs are expected to become available in the next decade. Dentistry was ranked No. 2 on last year’s list and No. 1 in 2017.

The report, which relies on research and information from the U.S., and thus only pertains to the country, noted that dentists work well into their 60s and have an average stress level and above-average job flexibility.

Health care jobs accounted for 42 of the 100 best jobs and for the majority of the professions in the top ten. Antonio Barbera, consumer advice editor at U.S. News, said that this comes at a time when health care is more critical than ever. “One thing the global pandemic has reinforced is the need and value of health care professionals. This year’s rankings affirm that it is a good career sector for many, with typically high median salaries and low unemployment rates,” Barbera commented in a press release.

Orthodontist was ranked 11th on the 100 best jobs list—narrowly missing out on being included in the top ten. The top three jobs on the list are physician assistant, software developer and nurse practitioner.

Oral health care professions some of the best paying jobs

Jobs in oral health care accounted for three of the top ten jobs on the best paying jobs list. While anesthesiologist was ranked No. 1, it has the same median salary ($208,000) as oral and maxillofacial surgeon (ranked third), orthodontist (ranked fifth) and prosthodontist (ranked sixth).

U.S. News said that the lowest-paid 25% of oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists and prosthodontists earn $173,470, $139,330, and $127,690, respectively. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have an unemployment rate of 0.3%—only slightly higher than the 0.2% unemployment rate given for orthodontists and prosthodontists.

According to the report, the average American oral and maxillofacial surgeon and prosthodontist work well into their 60s and enjoy a low stress level and a good work–life balance. Nonetheless, the stress level for the two jobs was reported as being above average and job flexibility below average. U.S. News said that American orthodontists also work well into their 60s and have a below-average stress level and above-average job flexibility.

To compile its rankings, U.S. News identifies the jobs with the greatest hiring potential, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are then scored according to a series of measures: projected growth volume and growth percentage over a ten-year period, median salary, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work–life balance.

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