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Dentists regain top spot in best jobs list of 2017

January 12, 2017

By Kimber Solana

For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report's annual list ranking the best jobs of the year.
    
Dentists, which ranked No. 2 in 2016's list, took the No. 1 spot in 2017. It last held the top spot in 2015. Orthodontists, which ranked No. 1 last year, is this year's fifth best occupation; oral and maxillofacial surgeon rounded up the top 10 with a tie for No. 9.
    
Occupations are ranked based on U.S. News' calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between zero and 10. These components are: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.

Dentists scored an overall score of 8.2; orthodontists, 8.1; and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 7.7.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings," according to the U.S. News & World Report. "A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of best jobs."

The magazine also reports that orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, with about 1,500 new job openings for orthodontists and 1,200 new jobs for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, statisticians, nurse anesthetists, pediatricians, computer system analysts and obstetrician and gynecologists joined the three dental related professions in the top 10.