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Dentistry Major

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Dentistry

$122,320 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Dentistry Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many dentistry graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 6,494
Graduate Certificate 24

What Dentistry Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to dentistry were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Dentistry Majors

Dentistry majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for Dentistry Majors

When studying dentistry, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Dentistry Majors

As you progress with your dentistry degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Dentistry Major?

People with a dentistry degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Dentists, General 19.4% $151,850
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370

How Much Do Dentistry Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $122,320 to $175,840 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to dentistry. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Dentistry Major  ( 122320 to 175840 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with dentistry may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for dentistry careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.2%
Some College Courses 4.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 5.2%
Master’s Degree 18.4%
Doctoral Degree 58.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 8.0%

Online Dentistry Programs

In 2017-2018, 64 schools offered a dentistry program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 64 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Dentistry Worth It?

The median salary for a dentistry grad is $122,320 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 207% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,648,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dentistry.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,068
Dental Support Services 27,155
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Communication Sciences 21,520
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,481
Veterinary Medicine 3,175
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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