Dentist is America's 'Best Job' in New Ranking

January 11, 2017
Joe Hannan

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in dentistry to grow 18 percent between 2014 and 2024.

For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report ranks Dentist as its best job for 2017. Orthodontist also claimed the number 5 slot for the second consecutive year. And oral and maxillofacial surgeons rounded out the top 10 by claiming ninth.

According to the news outlet, dentists claimed the top spot for several reasons. Chief among them is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment in the profession to grow 18 percent between 2014 and 2024. That’s 23,300 new jobs. Other factors pushing dentistry to the top include: strong salary, low unemployment, and a good work-life balance. U.S. News puts the median salary among dentists at $152,700 and the unemployment rate at .1 percent. Dentist also ranked as the top health care job and the ninth best-paying job.

U.S. News & World Report also gauged job satisfaction for each profession by looking at three factors: upward mobility, stress level and flexibility. While the former two categories fell into the “average” ranking for dentists, the latter earned an “above average” because of the profession’s “alternative working schedule and work-life balance.”

It was a banner year for many health-care professions in U.S. News’ rankings.

“Health care jobs often require a human element, so they can’t be exported or entirely replaced by robots — at least not yet,” said Susannah Snider, personal finance editor at U.S. News in a news release. “Continued growth in the health care sector, low unemployment rates, and high salaries make these jobs especially desirable. Plus, individuals can pursue a range of health care positions that require varying levels of skill and education.”

Orthodontists will also fare well in the eyes of the BLS in 2017. The bureau estimates that the profession will see job growth by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, creating 1,500 jobs along the way. “The BLS suspects this growth will be driven by an increasing desire for this specialized dental care,” the news organization reports.

U.S. News & World Report puts the median salary for Orthodontists at $187,200, the profession’s unemployment rate at .1 percent, and the number of available jobs at 1,500. Orthodontist took the number 4 slot in the best health care jobs ranking. And good news if you’re an orthodontist working in the metropolitan areas of Memphis, Tenn., Atlanta or Boston. U.S. News & World Report says you’re among the most highly compensated in your profession. On the job satisfaction scale, the news organization says that orthodontists have average upward mobility, a below average stress level and above average flexibility.

Rounding out the top 10 jobs are oral and maxillofacial surgeons, which tied for the rank of ninth alongside obstetrician/gynecologist. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons ranked third among the best paying jobs, and the BLS expects their profession will grow 18 percent between 2014 and 2024. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons bring in a median salary of $187,200, have a .6 percent unemployment rate. There are about 1,200 jobs available in the field.