Average Dental Residency Salary

Wed, Mar 21, 2012

Internship Information

Most students find themselves in the untenable position of paying a huge sum for their college education (or racking up student loans) while simultaneously being unable to work (thanks to the hours of class and study time required). Although some can squeeze in a part-time job to make ends meet (often an undesirable minimum-wage affair), even this opportunity to bring in a bit of cash is removed once internships enter the picture. Certainly students want to gain the valuable experience in their field that an internship can offer, not to mention the potential for a job after graduation. But would it hurt these companies to throw a starving student a bone with at least a minimal paycheck? In truth, you can’t expect to get both college credit and cash when you take on an internship, and the legalities for businesses usually demand that such positions remain unpaid. But if you happen to be interested in entering the dental industry, you’re in for a bit of good news.

As it turns out, your internship will be paid. In truth, it will be your residency, the field work you must complete before you can become a licensed member of the dental profession (and it occurs after you have earned your four-year degree). But since you are still learning, you could certainly look at the situation as a sort of mandatory (yet paid) internship. And you stand to earn quite a bit more than the average student in pursuit of a career. According to a report released by job website Simply Hired last year, the average salary for a student completing a dental residency is about $40,000 per year. Depending on the school and the program, however, it could be as high as $55,000. While you will certainly earn more once you have received your license and become a dentist, this amount of money is practically unheard of amongst the college-age crowd, offering an excellent incentive for students to choose this career path.

But there’s more to recommend this industry than the pre-license salary. The added bonus of choosing the field of dentistry is that you actually have prospects for nabbing a job over the next decade (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). In fact, the outlook for jobs in dentistry between 2008 and 2018 is forecast to rise by 16%, which is pretty impressive considering the number of industries that are still suffering from job loss. And there are a couple of reasons why experts believe that this boost in numbers will occur.

A lot of fuss has been made about the aging baby boomers and their medical concerns, but they’re also likely to suffer a slew of dental issues related to aging, the poor dental practices they observed in their youth, and the massive growth of the processed food market (including high levels of sugar and preservatives) during their lifetime. In addition, healthcare reform could make dental coverage more accessible to more people (and the growth of discount programs like the Careington dental plan are on the rise, as well). As the demand for dental services goes up, so will the call for qualified dentists. And while the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average dentist earns over $150,000 per year, students looking to enter this growing field will simply have to content themselves with the knowledge that the $40K they pull in during their residency is a lot more than other students are earning.

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