Dentistry and dental hygiene both were among the top ten occupations of 2014 according to the U.S. News and World Report’s “100 Best Jobs of 2014”, published on January 23, 2014. Dentists are ranked number 3, the highest ranking health care related career. Dental hygienists rank tenth. The two top occupations on the list are software developer and computer systems analyst. Other professions that make the top ten are: nurse practitioner, pharmacist, registered nurse, physical therapist, physician and web developer. Certainly computing and health care are growing industries.
The U.S. News and World Report ranks occupations based on a score combining growth volume, growth percentage, salary, job prospects, employment rate, stress level and work-life balance.
Despite fluoridation and better prevention, the need for dental professionals is increasing. According to the article, “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to the No. 3 position on our list of Best Jobs of 2014.”
I am proud that dentistry, so dear to my heart, ranks as one of the “Best jobs,” even though I wouldn’t call dentistry a “job.” It is so much more than a “job,” but a life choice that places a person’s health in our hands and sends us on a lifetime of learning. I am also struck that the “score” doesn’t include points for career satisfaction in devoting oneself to providing a public service. Public service, helping people achieve optimum dental health, thus improving their overall health care, is why dentistry is so satisfying a profession.