Just as there is more to life than money, there is more to a job than income. Like it or not, though, income is one of the primary motivators for job seekers. So what is realistic for an associate to make?

As recruiting consultants, we have interviewed thousands of dentists- more than 1,800 in 2012 alone. Using the information gathered from those interviews we were able to identify some general trends and averages for dentists who are either active job seekers or who are keeping an ear open for better opportunities. This is not a scientific analysis by any means. Results including self-reported income levels are inherently suspect, but we have done our best to take into account actual income based on reported production in addition to the responses of applicants.

In order to make the information more meaningful, I grouped our responses into three categories. “Early Career Dentists” includes doctors with less than five years of experience. “Mid-Career Dentists” have between five and fifteen years of experience. “Established Dentists” have more than fifteen years of experience and generally represent dentists who have either owned a practice and returned to the workforce, or who have opted for a career outside of ownership.

Average Associate Dentist income across all experience levels: $149,000 annually
Average Early Career Associate Dentist income: $135,000 annually
Average Mid-Career Associate Dentist income: $154,000 annually
Average Established Associate Dentist income: $163,000 annually

There are many factors that affect income. Practice type, location, patient load, and associate experience are all very important. Dental Economics and the Levin Group collaborate to put out an annual survey that includes a break down of the difference in income between different community types. You will see that the highest income potential is often not in the major cities but in the secondary markets, where there is less competition for patients, but where the local economy and population are sufficiently diverse to support a thriving private practice.

Note: The first number is the median and the second is the mean.

You can download the full survey results along with analysis at the Levin Group website: http://www.levingroup.com/gp/index.php/2011-10-25-17-53-19/delg-survey

For additional information on local income trends, contact the ETS Dental Recruiting consultant specializing in your area. A list of our recruiting consultants and their areas of focus can be found here: http://www.etsdental.com/about/team.htm.
>Contributed by Morgan Pace, Senior Dentist Recruiter for ETS Dental, www.etsdental.com | mpace@etsdental.com | 540-591-9102

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