Orthodontists, Dentists, Physician Assistants and Oral Surgeons Are Top Jobs

February 3, 2016

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U.S. News & World Report included oral health-related jobs at the top of its best jobs list.

Dental student

This dental student can expect ample job opportunities, says U.S. News and World Report.

The fields of orthodontics and dentistry lead the rankings, with physician assistant and oral surgery close behind, in U.S. News & World Report's newly announced list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2016. The top jobs are challenging, pay well, aren't too stressful, provide a satisfying work-life balance and opportunities to work with people.

Orthodontics ranks No. 1 on the list, offering job satisfaction, a high salary and the opportunity to foster meaningful relationships with patients over the course of several years. Not only is orthodontics a fulfilling occupation, but it pays well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that this profession will grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, resulting in about 1,500 new job openings.

Coming in No. 2 on the list is dentistry. This job offers the opportunity to care for patients, the stability of low unemployment rates and good job prospects, a solid salary and work-life flexibility. The need for oral health professionals remains constant and the demand for dentists is growing, according to the report. The BLS predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings. Dentists are also well-compensated for the services they provide.

Physician assistants ranks No. 5 on the list. The profession is filled with rewards that come from helping and treating patients. A 2015 American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) study found that more than 96 percent would recommend their physician assistant career to others. With heightened demand for health care, growth in this field will continue to grow at a rate of 38.4 percent, which equates to 33,300 new jobs for physician assistants.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons tied for No. 10 on the list. According to the report, as the baby boom population ages, there will likely be an increasing demand for the sort of complicated oral and facial treatments and surgeries that these health care professionals can offer. The BLS predicts that this profession will grow by 18 percent, or the equivalent of 1,200 new jobs from 2014 to 2024.

University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the U.S. where students can complete a four-year DDS program in just three calendar years. The Dugoni School also offers a 27-month graduate orthodontic program that prepares residents to provide excellent treatment based on contemporary biological orthodontic principles. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program is a collaboration between the Dugoni School in San Francisco and Highland Hospital and the Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland. In this 48-month, year-round program, residents receive instruction from expert faculty in the basic sciences of anatomy, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.

Pacific also plans to offer a new Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree program. This full-time, 27-month program is designed for professionals currently working in other areas of health care, individuals interested in a second career opportunity, and pre-health students interested in entering the fast-growing physician assistant (PA) field. The program is planned to start in January 2017 (pending accreditation) at Pacific's campus in Sacramento, and is being administrated by the Dugoni School of Dentistry.

Learn more about the programs here.


Contact: Office of Marketing and Communications, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu

Categories: Alumni, 2016