Dental Therapists examine and treat diseases of the teeth in preschool, primary and secondary school children under the general supervision of a Dentist.

Specialisations: Oral Health Therapist.

You usually need a bachelor degree in oral health to work as a Dental Therapist. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Tasks

  • Provides educational programmes to motivate children, parents and the community in matters relating to oral health.
  • Provides fluoride therapy by applying re-mineralising solutions and desensitising agents.
  • Removes deposits from teeth.
  • Applies non-invasive fissure sealants to teeth.
  • Takes impressions of the mouth.
  • Takes dental radiographs.

More about Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

All Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Dental Therapists

  • 1,800 workers Employment Size
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • 49% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 92% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Dental Therapists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
from 1,400 in 2011 to 1,800 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Dental Therapists work in many parts of Australia. Queensland and Western Australia have a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Full-time: Around half work full-time (49%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 92% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

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 Assistance95.5
Public Administration and Safety2.7
Education and Training0.9
Other Services0.4
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 TherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW19.031.6
VIC19.725.6
QLD26.620.0
SA11.17.0
WA18.410.8
TAS2.82.0
NT1.21.0
ACT1.31.9

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 TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.2-5.05.0
20-2411.4-9.39.3
25-3433.1-22.922.9
35-4415.9-22.022.0
45-5421.1-21.621.6
55-5914.0-9.09.0
60-643.7-6.06.0
65 and Over0.6-4.24.2

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 TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate4.0-10.110.1
Bachelor degree63.5-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma31.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.4-21.121.1
Year 120.8-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

You usually need a bachelor degree in oral health to work as a Dental Therapist. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

You must also be registered with the Dental Board of Australia (part of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • radiation licence
  • driver's licence
  • national police check
  • working with children check
  • first aid certificate
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

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.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways 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 Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and personal service

    74% Skill level

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

  2. Medicine and dentistry

    65% Skill level

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

  3. Psychology

    63% Skill level

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

  4. English language

    54% Skill level

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

  5. Sales and marketing

    50% Skill level

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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, 29-2021.00 - Dental Hygienists.

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. Contact with people

    100% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  2. Disease or infection

    100% Important

    Be exposed to disease or infections.

  3. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    100% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  4. Physically close to people

    100% Important

    Work physically close to other people.

  5. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    99% Important

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

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, 29-2021.00 - Dental Hygienists.

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