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Dentists, dental hygienist among top 10 best jobs in U.S.

January 23, 2014

By Kimber Solana, ADA News staff

Among the best occupations of 2014, two dental-related professions cracked the top 10, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2014 published Jan. 23.

Dentists come in at No. 3, the highest ranking health care-related career; dental hygienists at No. 10.

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 8.2; dental hygienists a 7.7. The top two occupations in the list are software developer with 8.4, and computer systems analyst with an 8.2.

"The need for professionals to examine our teeth, fill and —gulp—refill our cavities isn’t fading," according to the report, adding that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of nearly 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, with more than 23,000 new openings.

The report found that dentists earned a median salary of $145,240 in 2012.

"A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to the No. 3 position on our list of Best Jobs of 2014," according to U.S. News.

For dental hygienists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that employment will grow 33.3 percent by 2022. It also has a median salary or $70,210 and an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent.

Other professions that make up the top 10 are: nurse practitioner, 4th; pharmacist, 5th; registered nurse, 6th; physical therapist, 7th; physician, 8th; and web developer, 9th.