Orthodontist, Dentist Are America's 'Best Jobs'

January 28, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

High pay, high flexibility, and high demand were the chief reasons US News & World Report recognized these two oral health jobs as the nation's best.

They may not have the easiest jobs in the world, but orthodontists and dentists do have the “best” jobs in America, according to a new report.

US News & World Report named orthodontist the best job in the US for 2016, followed by dentist and nurse. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon came in at No. 10. In fact, health-related jobs dominated the list, with nine out of the top 10 jobs. The best non-health job was computer systems analyst, which was named the third-best job in the US.

Susannah Snider, careers editor for the magazine, said supporting healthcare roles, such as nurses, dental hygienists, or dental assistants, are particularly sought after.

“Healthcare support occupations, for which demand is expected to grow as Baby Boomers age, are great opportunities for entry-level job seekers or those making a mid-career change,” she said. “These positions offer robust job growth and relatively low stress without requiring an expensive postgraduate degree.”

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon was also listed as No. 3 on the “Best Paying Jobs” list. Orthodontist came in at No. 5 on that list.

US News said it uses a variety of factors to come up with its list. In addition to pay and hiring demand, they also factor in employment rates, stress level, and work-life balance.

“An improving economy and increasing employment rate means Americans should have more career options,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at the publication.

Orthodontists were scored highly for lower-than-average stress and higher-than-average flexibility, though their upward mobility was listed as simply “average.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the profession’s ranks to grow by 18% between 2014 and 2024.

For dentists, the 2016 ranking actually represents a slight fall from last year, when dentist came in No. 1. Still, they ranked almost at the top of the list. Demand for dentists was expected to grow at a similar rate to that of orthodontists. The biggest plus for dentists was their flexibility, though stress level and upward mobility for dentists was rated “average."

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