You’ve finished school, passed your boards, and you’re finally ready to hang out your credentials and get to work.But where is the best place in the US to work as a dentist? Many states have great appeal for a variety of reasons but be sure to weigh all the pros and cons before setting up shop! Best States for Dentists: Choosing Where to Build Your Dental Career What makes a location great for dentists? Obviously, you’ll want a state with plenty of opportunities in your field, competitive salaries, and lots to do in your free time. But with fifty states to choose from, each with its own strengths, how can you narrow down the field?
Look for States Where Patients Are Looking for You
First and foremost, when considering where to start your career or where to move if you’re an established doctor looking for a change, your prospective locale must have sufficient opportunity. That means looking for a location with plenty of patients in need of dental care. However, you should also research whether the people in that area are inclined to seek dental care when it is available.
Good indicators include rates of residents who carry dental insurance, as well as what proportion of offices in the area take Medicaid. Compare Average Salaries, but Also Cost of Living. Of course, figures on the average salary for dentists in your area will likewise give some insight as to how successful you will likely be if you choose to move there. However, be sure to compare average dental salaries to the cost of living. After all, what would be an incredible salary in a state with a low cost of living won’t stretch far in New York.
Also, keep in mind that tax regulations vary widely from state to state. Where states like Florida and Texas have no state income tax and allow you to keep more of your gross salary, other states will hit you with federal, state, and even municipal income tax. That can really eat into your bottom line! Another factor for consideration is what kind of incentives the state or region offers to attract needed dental professionals. Narrow Down Your Region Beyond just choosing a state, you must also choose what type of region you’re interested in. After all, states like Texas cover massive areas with a huge variety of landscapes and lifestyles.
Rural vs. Urban
While urban areas may seem like the obvious answer for job abundance in most industries, dentistry can run counter to that trend. Urban areas do offer concentrated population density, but they also usually have a concurrently high concentration of dentists, meaning it will be harder for you to carve out your patient population in an already flooded market. Dental practices in urban areas also run much higher overhead, especially for things like rent. There may also be a cap on how far your practice can grow, as space may be at a premium. If the practice can only afford office space that allows four operatories, you will run into a hard ceiling as your practice grows over time.
Rural areas, on the other hand, can offer a surprising amount of opportunity, especially for newcomers to the field. Because rural and non-metropolitan areas typically lack easy access to dental clinics, there is usually a huge demand for dentists. Texas is no exception to this rule. Many areas offer incentives to attract dentists to underserved areas, including student loan repayment assistance, so be sure to consider these opportunities as well!
There is obviously more to a great career than just a great salary. As we’ve discussed before, balancing work with quality free time can augment your career satisfaction as well as ensure great career longevity. So think carefully about how you want to be able to spend your free time! Are you an outdoorsy person who wants to spend weekends hiking or camping? Maybe you’re a beach bum and want a seaside lifestyle. Or do you crave easy access to haute cuisine and trips to the theater? Partaking in whatever floats your boat while you’re not at work will help replenish your energy and enthusiasm when you’re on the job, so make sure you choose an area that will let you cultivate your preferred lifestyle.
Maybe you’re a recent grad who has yet to decide whether you’re interested in growing your family, or maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and even have a child or two. Keep in mind that your family will be an essential part of choosing your ideal location for your career. City living might appeal to you but raising children in dense urban areas means little to no backyard where kiddos can play freely. Conversely, you may want miles of ranch land in all directions, but your spouse may not be so keen on living without a Thai restaurant nearby. Maybe you need to stay close to aging parents or really like being near siblings. It’s essential to include current or potential future family members in your list of considerations.
What Makes Texas a Great Location for Your Dental Career?
Texas boasts the best of both worlds in terms of lifestyle and opportunity for dentists. With a wide range of regions to choose from, the Lonestar State has something amazing for every taste. First and foremost, Texas is full of great prospects in the dental industry. It’s ranked second in the nation for projected dental job growth in the next few years, with an expected increase of 32% over the next few years. By contrast, many other states expect a decrease in dental job availability. Texas is also very affordable, with housing and food costs slightly below the national average. There have also been major drives recently to invest in transportation and infrastructure to create even more value in the choice to live in Texas.
By signing on with a great practice with Community Dental Partners, your salary as a dentist should go a long way in the Lonestar State! The best news about the job market for dentists in Texas is that patients here are actively seeking dental care. There are patients just waiting for your expertise! Whether you’re interested in general dentistry, family dental, pediatrics, or a specialty, there are plenty of opportunities to provide much-needed care and become an integral part of one of our amazing Texan communities. Beyond just a competitive job market, however, Texas truly has something for everyone. With bustling metropolitan areas and pristine rural landscapes, Texas offers a wide variety of lifestyles. Keep in mind that while Texans do identify as a state-wide community, each region of this amazing state has its own culture and persona. From Gulf Coast beaches to amazing hiking and kayaking inland, elegant cities to endless horizons, Texas truly has the potential to provide your ideal lifestyle, whatever that may be. Schedule a call with a Recruiting Manager to learn more about the benefits of a dental career in Texas! It can be difficult to decide where to settle down and start your career or to make the decision to move for a new career opportunity. There are several reasons why you may choose one location or another. We chose to begin our operations in Texas because we saw a need in our communities here. We’re now creating hundreds of dental careers in Texas and helping to serve the underserved!
So, why should you consider a dental career in Texas? We’re sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Well, this includes the smiles and the dental careers! There are so many opportunities for work and play here in the Lone Star state!