Types of Degrees Dentistry Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many dentistry graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Dentistry Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to dentistry and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Dentistry Majors
Dentistry majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Skills for Dentistry Majors
When studying dentistry, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Abilities for Dentistry Majors
As a dentistry major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a Dentistry Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with dentistry:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Health Specialties Professors||25.9%||$97,370|
How Much Do Dentistry Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that dentistry students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $231,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $231,200 (25th percentile) and $231,200 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to dentistry.
Salaries According to BLS
Dentistry majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $122,320 to $175,840 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Dentistry
Some careers associated with dentistry require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to dentistry have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.2%|
|Some College Courses||4.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||5.2%|
Online Dentistry Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 64 schools offered some type of dentistry program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||64||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Dentistry Worth It?
The median salary for a dentistry grad is $122,320 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 207% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,648,400 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Dentistry
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dentistry.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Michal Jarmoluk under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.