I recently received a question that goes like this:
“I am going to college in the next year and I am torn between Veterinary Science and Dentistry. Can you help me figure out how good the job market is for dentistry? Thanks! – John Matt Hughes”
Thank you John for this very interesting question and it’s an honour to help young minds such as yourself to pick out your destiny.
How is the demand for dentists?
The demand for dentists in Canada is quite impressive, or at least, it’s possible to land a job easier compared to other fields of medicine. As a dentist, you may end up in private practice or in clinics and hospitals. I have known quite a few people who started out as dentists in clinics and hospitals and then worked their way up to private practice.
There was also one foreigner from the Philippines who migrated to Canada and also asked me about the requirements for becoming a dentist. If you took your program anywhere, you may be asked to take up another program if it’s not accredited by the programs similar to Canada and the USA. If you came from another country, like the Philippines, you will be considered as an Internationally Educated Dentist and you need to take a two year qualifying program in order to take the exam.
Apart from getting a certificate from NDEB or National Examining Board of Canada, you may be asked to take up the following:
- Assessment of Fundamental Knowledge (written exam; one day)
- Assessment of Clinical Skills (using mannequins; two days)
- Assessment of Clinical Judgment (three exams; one day)
This is probably the root of your question: How much are dentists paid? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a dentist can earn an average of $146,920 or $70.64 per hour as of 2010. The lowest 10% earned an income of $71,210 while the highest 10% earned $166,400 or higher. The highest earners in the field of dentistry belong to orthodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery (emergency dentists).
On a more demographic note, Ontario dentists in the middle 50 percent have a salary range from $87,077 to $121,356. PayScale reports figures between the 25th and 75th percentile of respondents to its surveys. The salary for an Alberta dentist ranges from $81,359 to $116,236, placing this province second to Ontario in salary. The highest dentist salaries for Canadian cities belong to Edmonton, Alberta, where dentists make between $90,000 and $135,000 annually. The lowest reported salary for a province was in Nova Scotia, at $47,500, while the lowest range of dentist salaries belongs to New Brunswick, at between $50,871 and $70,139.