The Orthodontist Salary in 2017

An orthodontist working in the US earns $228,780 per year – the highest orthodontist salary in all English-speaking countries we revised. Those working in Canada take home about C$101,000 (US$77,779) per year, the UK pays its orthodontists with about £87,500 (US$113,128), Australia with AU$150,000 (US$114,082), and New Zealand with NZ$135,000 (US$98,293). The lowest salaries for orthodontists are registered in India and South Africa, where professionals earn Rs600,000 (US$9,268) and R510,000 (US$38,471), respectively.

How Much Does an Orthodontist Make Per Year?

US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Wage $109.99 C$48.56
(US37.39)
£42.07
(US$54.39)
AU$72.12
(US$54.85)
NZ$64.90
(US$47.26)
Rs288.46
(US$4.46)
R245.19
(US$18.50)
Annual Wage $228,780 C$101,000
(US$77,779)
£87,500
(US$113,128)
AU$150,000
(US$114,082)
NZ$135,000
(US$98,293)
Rs600,000
(US$9,268)
R510,000
(US$38,471)

Factors that Influence the Orthodontist Salary

The most relevant factors to influence the average salary of an orthodontist are the location, the industry of each occupation, and the level of experience they have. These factors can generate a difference in the pay grade of more than $100,000.

Geographic Area

Orthodontist Salary in the US

An orthodontist working in the US takes home about $228,780 per year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Payscale, however, reports the national average for this profession at $167,000. The starting orthodontist salary is $79,508 and the experienced salary can reach $295,772 per year. Payscale also reports that bonuses can add up to $36,212 and profit sharing – another $17,500 to the yearly salary.

Below, you can find a series of tables documenting the states and metropolitan areas which offer the highest levels of employment for the occupation, as well as the highest orthodontist salaries.

Highest Levels of Employment for Orthodontists in the US

The states offering the highest levels of employment for orthodontists are as follows:

State Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
California 710 0.05 1.17 $93.39 $194,250
Florida 360 0.05 1.15 $111.94 $232,830
Massachusetts 350 0.10 2.62 $108.47 $225,620
Ohio 270 0.05 1.33 $106.72 $221,970
New Jersey 270 0.07 1.77 $112.11 $233,180

The metropolitan areas with the highest levels of employment for orthodontists are as follows:

Metropolitan area Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 300 0.07 1.89 $78.08 $162,410
Boston – Cambridge – Newton, MA NECTA Division 180 0.10 2.55 $119.30 $248,150
New York – Jersey City – White Plains, NYC – NJ Metropolitan Division 150 0.02 0.58 $111.89 $232,730
Birmingham – Hoover, AL 100 0.21 5.24 $84.69 $176,160
Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale, AZ 70 0.04 1.00 Higher than $90 Higher than $187,200
Fort Wayne, IN 40 0.19 4.74 $54.05 $112,420
Highest Salaries for Orthodontists in the US

Meanwhile, the states offering the highest orthodontist salaries are the following:

State Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Tennessee 70 0.02 0.61 Higher than $90 Higher than $187,200
Connecticut Not released Not released Not released Higher than $90 Higher than $187,200
Colorado Not released Not released Not released $135.32 $281,470
Minnesota Not released Not released Not released $131.09 $272,660
Mississippi 50 0.04 1.10 $130.77 $272,010

Last, but not least, the metropolitan areas with the highest orthodontist salaries are as follows:

Metropolitan area Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Memphis, TN – MS – AR Not released Not released Not released Higher than $90 Higher than $187,200
Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Roswell, GA Not released Not released Not released $123.90 $257,710
Boston – Cambridge – Newton, MA NECTA Division 180 0.10 2.55 $119.30 $248,150
Silver Spring – Frederick – Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division Not released Not released Not released $119.30 $248,140
Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division Not released Not released Not released $117.40 $244,200
New York – Jersey City – White Plains, NY – NJ Metropolitan Division 150 0.02 0.58 $111.89 $232,730
Tulsa, OK Not released Not released Not released $111.55 $232,010
Harrisburg – Carlisle, PA Not released Not released Not released $109.45 $227,660
Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford, FL Not released Not released Not released $103.21 $214,670
Cincinnati, OH – KY – IN Not released Not released Not released $98.66 $205,220

Orthodontist Salary in Canada

An orthodontist working in Canada earns C$101,000 (US$77,779) per year, according to PayScale. The orthodontist starting salary in this country is C$50,684, or US$39,049. A professional will reach the mean salary in 5 to 10 years and the experienced salary of C$188,254 (US$145,068) per year about 5 years after that. Bonuses can add about C$1,750 (US$1,348) to the yearly salary.

Orthodontist Salary in the UK

The average salary of an orthodontist in the United Kingdom is set at £87,500 (US$113,128) per year. Beginners in this field can earn as little as £30,663, or US$39,645 per year, while experienced professionals can earn up to £234,780, (US$303,555) per year. Bonuses can account for £4,250 (US$5,495) of that amount.

Orthodontist Salary in Australia

An orthodontist working in Australia will earn AU$150,000 (US$114,082) per year on average. Beginners start off at about AU$58,723 (US$44,664) per year, while those with more than 10-15 years of experience behind can reach AU$297,858 (US$226,550) per year. Some can add up to AU$17,500 (US$13,312) to their yearly salary from bonuses.

Orthodontist Salary in New Zealand

Although no info is available on the orthodontist salary in New Zealand, we can take the dentist salary as a reference. A dentist working in New Zealand starts off somewhere between NZ$65,000 (US$47,310) and NZ$120,000 (US$87,339). Experienced professionals can earn between NZ$150,000 (US$109,179) and NZ$212,000 (US$154,306) per year, which makes the average around NZ$135,000 (US$98,293).

Orthodontist Salary in India

Payscale lists the national average salary for orthodontists at Rs600,000, or US$9,268 per year. The starting orthodontist salary in this country is Rs232,699 (US$3,593), while experienced professionals take home up to Rs4,327,764 (US$66,846). Mid-career professionals can earn salaries up to 379% higher than the national average.

Orthodontist Salary in South Africa

Payscale reports the average salary of an orthodontist at around ZAR510,000, or US$38,562 per year. Just as we’d expect, this is significantly higher than the average dentist salary in South Africa (ZAR421,850, or US$30,872). Most orthodontists in South Africa have 4 years in this field, which means that, in time, the average salary will slowly increase with their experience.

Experience

The orthodontist salary is one of the highest in healthcare; however, the profession requires a doctorate in dental medicine, a residency lasting one or two years, a board certification, and a state license in the US, but all countries have similar requirements from their orthodontists. Most salaries in the medical industry increase with experience up to the 20-year mark and steadily decline after that.

If you are interested in other jobs in this field that require less and cheaper training, you can check out our guide to the dental assistant salary.

Industry

Just like with the physical location of the place of employment, each industry can affect the orthodontist salary by quite a significant amount. Here are the industries offering the highest levels of employment for the profession and those offering the highest salary range in the US.

The industries offering the highest levels of employment for orthodontists are the following:

Industry Employment Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Offices of Dentists 5,000 0.56 $108.21 $225,080
General Surgical and Medical Hospitals 90 0.00 $50.80 $105,660
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 70 0.01 $100.65 $209,350

Meanwhile, the industries with the highest recorded orthodontist yearly salary are as follows:

Industry Employment Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Offices of Dentists 5,000 0.56 $108.21 $225,080
Outpatient Care Centers Not released Not released $101.97 $212,100
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 70 0.01 $100.65 $209,350
Offices of Physicians Not released Not released $85.56 $177,950
General Surgical and Medical Hospitals 90 Less than .005 $50.80 $105,660

Work Hours

Most orthodontists tend to work four or five days a week. This often means working evenings, weekends, and holidays to accommodate patients with less flexible schedules. However, they also work just 4 days a week on occasion. Therefore, the average work week of an orthodontist is usually around 40 hours long.

Statisticians noticed younger orthodontists tend to work longer to establish their practice, while older ones, with already established practices, tend to work less. This might be one of the causes for the salary decrease after the 20-year mark.

Bonuses and Benefits Packages

According to payscle.com, the most common health benefits seen by orthodontists are medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a fair number of sick and paid leave days, and a 401(K) plan for those in the US. As for the extra cash flow that adds to the already substantial orthodontist salary, bonuses and profit sharing can add more than $35,000 a year. Profit sharing is accountable for up to $15,000, while bonuses can add up to $22,000 to the orthodontist yearly salary depending on location, level of experience, and place of employment.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for orthodontists is estimated to grow 16% by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations in the United States. Even though percentages vary, all reviewed country estimate good employment rates for their orthodontists in the next years. One of the reasons for this is the constant increase of the elderly population, always in need of false teeth and prostheses. Moreover, the increase in the number of smokers and hard drug users has been causing havoc in the ranks of young adults all over the country.

Conclusion

Despite having one of the highest salaries in healthcare, orthodontists go through extensive training and require focus, care, a steady hand, and patience. The highly optimistic job outlook and the overall high pay attract many young graduates, even though the activity isn’t one of the most attractive.

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