Dentists diagnose and treat dental disease, injuries, decay and malformations of the teeth, periodontal tissue (gums), hard and soft tissue found on the mouth and other dento-facial structures using surgery and other techniques.

    A bachelor degree in dentistry majoring in dental science or dental surgery is needed to work as a Dentist. Some Dentists complete postgraduate studies.

    Tasks

    • Diagnoses dental diseases using a range of methods such as radiographs, salivary tests and medical histories.
    • Provides preventative oral health care such as periodontal treatments, fluoride applications and oral health promotion.
    • Provides restorative oral care, such as implants, complex crown and bridge restorations, orthodontics and repairs to damaged or decayed teeth.
    • Provides oral surgical treatments such as biopsy of tissue and prescription of medications.
    • Performs routine orthodontic treatment.
    • Assists in diagnosing general diseases having oral manifestations such as diabetes.
    • Educates patients to take care of their mouth and teeth.
    • Leads a dental team which may comprise of Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Dental Assistants and other Dental Specialists.

    All Dental Practitioners

    • $1,742 Weekly Pay
    • Very strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Dentists

    • 11,900 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 63% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 42 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 44% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Dentists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 10,000 in 2011 to 11,900 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Location: Dentists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (63%, 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 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 44% 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 Assistance97.1
    Public Administration and Safety1.2
    Financial and Insurance Services0.7
    Education and Training0.6
    Other Industries0.4

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateDentistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.731.6
    VIC24.425.6
    QLD20.920.0
    SA7.27.0
    WA10.810.8
    TAS1.52.0
    NT0.61.0
    ACT1.91.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketDentistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.1-5.05.0
    20-243.8-9.39.3
    25-3430.9-22.922.9
    35-4425.8-22.022.0
    45-5418.5-21.621.6
    55-598.6-9.09.0
    60-646.3-6.06.0
    65 and Over6.0-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, 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 QualificationDentistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate17.6-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree79.4-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.9-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.5-21.121.1
    Year 121.4-18.118.1
    Year 110.0-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in dentistry majoring in dental science or dental surgery is needed to work as a Dentist. Some Dentists 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

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    2. Physical Proximity

      99% Important

      How physically close are you to other people?

    3. Frequency of Decision Making

      98% Important

      How often do you make decisions that affect other people?

    4. Work With Work Group or Team

      97% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    5. Impact of Decisions

      97% Important

      What results do your decisions have 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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