Dental Practitioners diagnose and treat dental disease, restore normal oral function using a broad range of treatments, such as surgery and other specialist techniques, and advise on oral health.

    A formal qualification in dentistry is needed to work as a Dental Practitioner. Some Dental Practitioners complete postgraduate studies.

    Tasks

    • diagnosing dental diseases using a range of methods such as radiographs, salivary tests and medical histories
    • providing preventative oral health care such as periodontal treatments, fluoride applications and oral health promotion
    • providing restorative oral care such as implants, complex crown and bridge restorations, and orthodontics, and repairing damaged and decayed teeth
    • providing oral surgical treatments such as biopsy of tissue and prescription of medication
    • performing routine orthodontic treatment
    • restoring oral function with removable and fixed oral prostheses
    • assisting in diagnosing general diseases having oral manifestations such as diabetes
    • educating patients to take care of their mouth and teeth
    • leading a dental team which may comprise Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Dental Assistants and other Dental Specialists

    More about Dental Practitioners

    All Dental Practitioners

    All Dental Practitioners

    • $1,742 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 16,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 64% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 42 hours Average full-time
    • 41 years Average age
    • 42% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Dental Practitioners (in their main job) grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 16,300 in 2018 to 19,100 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 7,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,400 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Dental Practitioners work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,742 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (64%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 42% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20089800
    200913200
    201011400
    201111500
    201212900
    201314800
    201411900
    20159800
    201611500
    201714100
    201816300
    202319100

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsDental PractitionersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings17421460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance97.0
    Public Administration and Safety1.2
    Education and Training0.7
    Financial and Insurance Services0.6
    Other Industries0.5

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateDental PractitionersAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.331.6
    VIC24.525.6
    QLD20.920.0
    SA7.37.0
    WA10.910.8
    TAS1.52.0
    NT0.61.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketDental PractitionersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.1-5.05.0
    20-243.5-9.39.3
    25-3429.0-22.922.9
    35-4426.2-22.022.0
    45-5419.0-21.621.6
    55-599.1-9.09.0
    60-646.6-6.06.0
    65 and Over6.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationDental PractitionersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate23.4-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree73.3-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.0-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.7-21.121.1
    Year 121.4-18.118.1
    Year 110.0-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

    A formal qualification in dentistry is needed to work as a Dental Practitioner. Some Dental Practitioners complete postgraduate studies.

    You must also be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • first aid certificate
    • be up to date with immunisations

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Dental Practitioners who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Medicine and dentistry

      81% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    2. Customer and personal service

      78% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. English language

      59% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    4. Psychology

      58% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    5. Education and training

      55% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1021.00 - Dentists, General.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Face-to-face discussions

      100% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    2. Physically close to people

      99% Important

      Work physically close to other people.

    3. Frequent decision making

      98% Important

      Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

    4. Teamwork

      97% Important

      Work with people in a group or team.

    5. Impact of decisions

      97% Important

      Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1021.00 - Dentists, General.

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