(Family Features) Figuring out the perfect career fit is a highly personal decision. One job, however, seems to stand out for offering both financial reward and work-life balance: dentist. In fact, year after year, U.S. News & World Report has identified it as the No. 1 job.
There are numerous variables that define a “great” job. Some people are motivated financially, while others prioritize work-life balance. The dental fieldffers both of these benefits and more.
Flexible location. Dentists are needed virtually everywhere. In fact, hundreds of counties across the country are known as a “dental deserts,” meaning they have been classified as a dental health professional shortage area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Support systems. Many new dentists are surprised by how much of their workload involves tasks outside their area of expertise and interest. However, dental support organizations like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. help dentists with front-office support, staffing, marketing and other non-clinical tasks so dentists can focus on patient care. This approach helps to ensure dentists are also able to develop their careers and pursue practice ownership, all while maintaining a positive work-life balance. Learn more at AspenDentalJobs.com.
Salary and stature. Years of training tend to pay off for dentists. The average salary for a dentist is $173,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dentists also tend to command respect for their expertise due to their education and training, similar to others in the medical field.
Community service. Because oral health is a critical part of overall health, dentists are directly contributing to an improved quality of life in their communities. This is especially true of those who are part of a dental support organization like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. that gives dentists and team members an opportunity to provide free dental care to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement. These dentists are also able to increase the amount of time they deliver dental services and at lower prices, thereby improving access to dental care to wider segments of the communities in which they practice.
Independence. Dental practices, including those supported by a dental support organization, are often operated by either a single dentist or small group of dentists, which allows them flexibility and autonomy.
Gender parity. Prior to 1980, women comprised less than 3 percent of all dentists, according to research published in Dental Economics. Today, women represent 27 percent of the industry, and this shift is quickly becoming more pronounced as almost half of all recent dental school graduates are female, according to the American Dental Association. In fact, 40 percent of dentists at Aspen Dental-branded practices are women.
Considering that most people spend the majority of every week at work, it’s important to find the right mix for fulfillment that goes beyond a paycheck, and the benefits for dentists who are part of dental support organizations can lead to greater potential job satisfaction.