Market forecasts suggest the long-term outlook for dental industry jobs will continue to grow over the next eight years…possibly beyond. As a significant baby-boomer population continues to keep more of their original teeth as they age, the need for dental treatments to treat and maintain those teeth likely will rise as well.
The employment outlook for dental hygienists and assistants, in particular, should remain strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts job growth for both professions will be much faster than the average for all jobs at least through 2026.
Dental hygienists, who clean teeth, check patients for oral disease, and provide a range of preventive dental care, can expect employment to grow by approximately 20 percent in the next eight years, as demand for oral care rises. And the outlook for dental assistants is not far behind, with the BLS projecting growth in the profession will approach 19 percent over the same period of time. As dental practices grow to keep up with demand, dentists will hire dental assistants to complete many of the routine tasks that ensure their practice remains efficient.
Candidates typically need an associate’s degree in the field in order to practice as a dental hygienist. While some dental assistants can work their way into the profession without a formal education, many states require that they graduate from an accredited educational and training program. Schools such as Fortis Colleges and Institutes that offer programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene can be an excellent place to prepare for a career in either of these in-demand professions.
Fortis offers dental programs at more than a dozen campuses across the county. Visit our Dental Programs page to learn more about the program options at the campus nearest you.
Although the demand for dental services is expected to continue increasing, the number of graduates from education programs also is rising…so competition for available jobs could be quite strong, depending upon where you live. Those graduating with the best grades from accredited programs and candidates with some prior oral care experience may have the best job opportunities.
Whichever profession you choose…good luck in your education, training and job search!