Orthodontist Salary: How Much Do Orthodontists Make and What It Takes to Get There

Discover the earning potential of orthodontists and the steps required to become one.

Posted May 19, 2023

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Orthodontics is an incredibly rewarding field, both professionally and financially. As an orthodontist, you can help people achieve the confident, beautiful smiles they've always dreamed of while earning a generous income. But just how much can you expect to make as an orthodontist, and what steps do you need to take to get there? In this article, we'll take a comprehensive look at the education and training required, the average salary range across the US, factors that impact an orthodontist's salary, benefits and perks of working in this field, career growth opportunities, and much more.

The Education and Training Required to Become an Orthodontist

The path to becoming an orthodontist is a long and challenging one, but it's also incredibly rewarding. Here are the basic steps you'll need to take:

The first step to becoming an orthodontist is to obtain a Bachelor's degree in a related field. While there's no specific major required, it's recommended that you major in a science-related field such as biology, chemistry, or physics.

After earning your Bachelor's degree, you'll need to attend dental school to become a dentist. Dental school typically takes four years to complete, and you'll learn about everything from dental anatomy to diagnosis and treatment planning.

Once you've graduated from dental school, you'll need to complete a residency program in orthodontics, which typically takes an additional two to three years. During your residency, you'll receive extensive training in orthodontic diagnosis, treatment planning, and biomechanics.

After completing your residency program, you'll need to obtain licensure in order to practice as an orthodontist. This typically involves passing a written and practical exam, as well as meeting any additional state-specific requirements.

As with any medical profession, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and techniques in orthodontics. Orthodontists are required to complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year in order to maintain their licensure and stay current in their field.

How to Choose the Right Orthodontic Program

Choosing the right orthodontic program is essential for your career success. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a program:

The Role of Board Certification in Orthodontic Practice

Board certification is an optional step that orthodontists can take to demonstrate their expertise in the field. Here are some things to keep in mind about board certification:

The Average Salary Range for Orthodontists Across the US

So, how much can you expect to make as an orthodontist? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for orthodontists in the United States is $228,780. However, this number can vary greatly depending on several factors.

One of the main factors that can affect an orthodontist's salary is their level of experience. Orthodontists who are just starting out in their careers may earn less than those who have been practicing for several years. Additionally, orthodontists who work in larger cities or in areas with a higher cost of living may earn more than those who work in smaller towns or rural areas.

Another factor that can impact an orthodontist's salary is their level of education and training. Orthodontists who have completed advanced training or who hold additional certifications may be able to command higher salaries than those who have only completed the minimum requirements for their profession.

Factors that Impact an Orthodontist's Salary

There are several factors that can impact an orthodontist's salary, including:

Highest Paying Cities for Orthodontists in the US

If you're looking to earn the highest salary possible as an orthodontist, consider practicing in one of these cities:

Benefits and Perks of Working as an Orthodontist

In addition to the high salary potential, there are several other benefits and perks to working as an orthodontist, including:

Career Growth Opportunities for Orthodontists

As an orthodontist, there are several career growth opportunities available to you, including:

The orthodontic industry is constantly evolving, with new technology and techniques emerging all the time. Here are some trends and predictions for the future of the industry:

Tips for Negotiating Your Salary as an Orthodontist

If you're looking to negotiate your salary as an orthodontist, here are some tips to keep in mind:

How to Build a Successful Career as an Orthodontist

Building a successful career as an orthodontist requires not only technical expertise but also an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to lifelong learning. Here are some tips to help you achieve success:

As you can see, becoming an orthodontist is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding path that can lead to a successful career and a high salary. By following the steps outlined above and staying committed to lifelong learning and professional development, you can build a successful career in this exciting and dynamic field.

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