The average pay of an orthodontist in the United States is US$229,380. Orthodontists earn, on average, C$120,331 (about US$92,800) in Canada, £82,000 (about US$105,500) in the United Kingdom and AU$101,857 (about US$74,800) in Australia. Dental specialists in New Zealand, which include orthodontists, make on average NZ$138,500 (about US$92,600) annually. In practice, an orthodontist salary varies according to their work experience, job setting and other factors. In the following sections of our guide, we will go into further details about each of these factors.
How Much Does an Orthodontist Make?
The table shows the mean orthodontist salary in several English-speaking countries, including the US. This average is based on the pay range orthodontists can expect within the given country.
|Orthodontist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
|Annual Salary||$229,380||C$120,331 |
Orthodontist Salary Determinant Factors
Orthodontists typically engage in private practice, either as a solo practitioner or in a partnership or other association. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-quarter of dentists were self-employed in 2014. The National Health Service says that most dental practitioners in the United Kingdom who work through the service do so as self-employed contractors.
For orthodontists in private practice, pay typically depends upon the rates and fees the professional can charge. Location and the insurance accepted by the practice can determine the fees.
1. How Much Does an Orthodontist Make by State?
Orthodontist Salary in US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average earnings for orthodontists in the United States stands at $229,380 per year as of May 2017. The top earners are paid above $289,740.
Orthodontist Salary in Canada
PayScale reports that orthodontists in Canada earn about C$120,331 per year in general. Pay runs between C$50,868 and C$240,000 per year.
Orthodontist Salary in UK
According to PayScale, the average pay for orthodontists in the United Kingdom is around £82,000 per year. Earnings range from £30,937 to £232,589 per year. Thus, an orthodontist salary is slightly higher than that of an average dentist. Dentists in the United Kingdom earn between 36,000 and 102,500, reports the National Careers Service.
Orthodontist Salary in Australia
In Australia, the average salary for orthodontists is reported by PayScale to be AU$101,857 per year. Orthodontists generally make between AU$59,598 and AU$219,039 per year.
Orthodontist Salary in New Zealand
According to the New Zealand Government, dentists in New Zealand, which include orthodontists, are paid between NZD$65,000 and NZD$212,000 annually.
2. How Much Does an Orthodontist Make According to Experience?
PayScale reports that median salaries for entry-level orthodontists in the United States stand at $168,829. After five years, the average rises to about $189,000. Between ten and 20 years of experience, an orthodontist can expect to earn about $188,000. This is the highest value an for an orthodontist salary. After 20 years in this field, the salary may reach over $200,000.
In the United Kingdom, dentists make between £36,000 and £45,750 as trainees in the National Health Service. Pay rises to £38,500 and £82,500 for salaried dentists in the United Kingdom. Consultant dentists considered “highly experienced” earn from £50,000 to £102,000.
According to PayScale, orthodontists in Australia with approximately ten years of experience, or in the “mid-career” stage earn 48 percent more than the average pay.
Dental specialists in New Zealand make between NZD$150,000 and NZD$212,000 annually in an institution run by the local District Board of Health. As for dentists with one to two years of experience, pay ranges between NZD$65,000 and NZD$80,000. At three to five years, earnings run from NZD$80,000 to NZD$120,000. Those with more than five years experience make up between NZD$150,000 and ZND$212,000 per year.
3. How Much Does an Orthodontist Make According to Work Environment?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that orthodontists in the “Offices of Dentists” are, on average, the highest-paid specialists in this field. In dentists’ offices, a orthodontist can expect to earn as much as $225,080 per year. In “General and Surgical Hospitals,” average pay is far less, about $105,660 per year.
For dentists, which include orthodontists, in the United Kingdom, those who work for the National Health Service earn between £36,000 and £102,000, depending on experience. In private practice, earnings can run from £50,000 to £110,000, as reported by the National Career Service. Orthodontists in private practice in the United Kingdom can fetch fees between £2,000 and £6,000 per patient who does not receive service through the National Health Service.
As a general rule, orthodontists work full-time. However, in New Zealand, a significant number of dentists work part-time. The New Zealand Government cites this as a contributor to the shortage of dentists in that country.
The Australian Government’s “Job Outlook” reports that approximately 62.6 percent of dental practitioners, which include dental specialists, work full-time. Among these full-time professionals, the average work week is 37.8 percent.
In the United Kingdom, orthodontists log between 35 and 40 hours per week.
Bonuses and Benefits
According to PayScale, orthodontists in the United States earned bonuses up to US$25,000. In Australia, bonuses average AU$19,653. The amount can depend on the particular practice. In addition, salaried or associate orthodontists in New Zealand and Australia are entitled to paid annual leave and contributions from their employers to pension plans.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a rise of 18 percent in employment of orthodontists through 2024. This translates to an increase of 1,500 orthodontists, from 8,200 in 2014 to 9,700 in 2024.
As of 2014, Canada had 17,100 dentists. Orthodontists are included within this figure. Canada currently has 5,400 job seekers in this field. And there are 7,000 job openings, suggesting a shortage of dentists.
According to the Australian Government, on the other hand, job openings among dental practitioners will probably not exceed 5,000 per year by November 2019. As of November 2015, Australia had 10,300 dental practitioners. However, employment of these professionals is projected to grow “very strongly” by November 2020.
The New Zealand Government rates job opportunities for dentists as “average.” While demand for dental services is high, becoming a full-time dentist usually requires accumulating experience. However, New Zealand’s immigration authorities list dentists on its “immediate skill shortage” list.
Orthodontists working in private practices can determine their own pay, more or less. They can do so by setting their own fees and rates and decide what insurance they might accept. Orthodontist fees, however, will be strongly tied to the country of practice, and competitor fees.
The need for braces, especially by young people, should sustain the need for orthodontists. Prospects for those with skills in this field should be promising, especially in countries that are experiencing a shortage of orthodontists and other dental professionals.