Are you a new graduate looking to get started in the field of dentistry? Are you an experienced professional who is looking for a new opportunity? In either case, you may have noticed that the world of dentistry has become busier and far more competitive in the last year alone. So why is this happening and what can you do to give yourself a competitive edge above others? Keep reading below to find out!
The U.S.News and World Report Best Jobs List released recently. This list takes in factors of salary, work-life balance, future growth, and more to create a well-rounded concept of what jobs are the best to aim for during that year. Dentists made a major leap this year, going up 37 spots to reach spot number 10 for 2023. While this bodes incredibly well for those who are currently in roles they like, those looking for new and better opportunities will have to put in additional effort to shine as other professionals look to do the same.
Dental Hygienists are enjoying a similar boost and high rating this year. In 2023, they are ranking not only as number 2 in the best healthcare support jobs, but also as number 35 in the top 100 best jobs. Dental Assistants are not sitting as high, but are ranking very comfortably as number 22 in best healthcare support jobs. Both of these opportunities offer a good salary, a great work-life balance, and many opportunities for future growth, which is what has led them to scoring so well in 2023.
Cross-comparing this information with the highest paid locations in 2023 for dental professionals is a great way to focus your search as well. If you are interested in relocation or just looking for information before making any choices for change, keeping updated on regional pay is incredibly helpful. While the pay scale is not consistent in every region, as every state has a different cost of living, looking at areas that are actively working to raise their pay can also help people who are looking for growing markets.
If you are interested in the field of dentistry but have not started yet, knowing the necessary schooling and licensure is incredibly important. Keep in mind that this is a general guide. You should always look up the specific needs and requirements of your state before pursuing any education or licensure.
For dental assistants, you will need to obtain a postsecondary nondegree award, also known as a certification from a professional program for dental assistants. You will want to confirm that this program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). During your schooling, you will likely begin working at an externship to get hands-on experience, but after graduation, you are welcome to step into your first real job as a dental assistant.
For dental hygienists, you will need, at minimum, a dental hygienist associate degree, though you could progress further into a bachelor’s or master’s degree if so desired. Again, you should ensure that your program is accredited through CODA before beginning. After obtaining your degree, you will need to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination to get your licensure and begin working.
For those interested in becoming dentists, know that this is a much longer process. The first step alone is to complete a bachelor’s degree before testing for the Dental Admissions Test to get into dental school. Dental school can take between 2 and 4 years of study, depending on what route you are looking to pursue, but once you obtain your DMD (Doctorate of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctorate of Dental Surgery), you will be able to test for your dental license. In every state, you will sit for the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE), but some states might also require clinical exams, so be aware of this when scheduling your tests. After passing your exams, you will finally be able to join the workforce as a dentist!
Working with Recruiters
As we mentioned above, the field of dentistry is becoming more popular and more competitive than ever. Licensure, certificates, and individual skills and experiences will all play a massive role in determining whether or not a candidate will even get an interview, let alone the job. Instead of stressing or using limited free time to job hunt, consider connecting with a dedicated recruiter, such as those at Radius Staffing Solutions.
Our recruiters are specialized in their fields, ensuring that they know the difficulties candidates face and the needs of the clients. This specialization allows for our recruiters to match candidates and clients based on needs, skills, and personalities, meaning that the match looks good on paper and feels right for all parties in person.
If you are interested in having a recruiter help you find the right opportunities for you, then check out our job board here! If you are unsure what kind of healthcare role you want to pursue for now, then send us an updated resume here and we will have a recruiter connect with you as soon as today!