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Dentists

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Purpose: 95
  • Supported: 92
  • Social: 76
  • Analytical: 69
  • Creative: 56

What Dentists Do

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.

Work Environment

Dentists held about 151,500 jobs in 2014. Some dentists own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff.

How to Become a Dentist

Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Dentists

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of dentists is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages, cosmetic dental services become increasingly popular, and access to health insurance continues to grow.

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    Job Trends for Dentists

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    This occupation supported 146,800 jobs in 2012 and 151,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 3.2%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 15.9% in 2022 to 170,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 151,400, compared with an observed value of 151,500, 0.1% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 18.3% in 2024 to 178,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 174,800 jobs for 2024, 2.0% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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