Dentist, what did you make your first year after dental school?

kevin512

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There seems to be a lot of confusion on how much a dentist will make after graduating from dental school. I want to know, from people who have already graduated, how much did you make after your first year of dental school, what kind of practice it was and the where you were? My mom, a dentist in Pensacola, FL tells me that making a 100k is a dream... Although she is my mom, I just don't feel like that is a right assumption.

Thanks!
Kevin512
 

K2 Dental

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Every situation is different obviously...Armed Services vs. IHC vs. private practice. I can tell you that you can make over 150K your first year out. It all depends on the situation that you find. Corporate dentistry (which I now hate) will give you the opportunity to make that money. I have friends making over 200K with large corporations. That is just my experience.
 

blankguy

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I think it is best to talk about salary ranges and region that people end up fresh out of dental school. That should put this never ending salary discussion in proper perspective.
 

K2 Dental

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My first post was a little vague...

Here are some examples including my own:

Example 1-
I work for a corporation that sees more than 50% medicaid. They require you to sign a 3 yr contract. First year salary is 150K. Then 160K and third year 170K. I am making more right now because I agreed to be transferred to a smaller town on short notice. I am leaving this company at the end of the summer. I will not have to buy out of my contract due to reasons I won't go into.

Example 2 -
My friend worked for a corporate office in Phoenix and made a guaranteed daily salary of $1,000. He was making over 20K a month. He has since left them for many reasons. (Corporate dentistry B.S.) which I won't go into.

Example 3-

Another friend working in Phoenix for Pacific is making over 20K a month. He works 5 days a week and does a lot of crowns.

I am now leaving this company to start my own practice.

These are real world examples.
 

tamkhan

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I don't think there are enough fresh grads on SDN to produce a statistically significant ballpark of starting salary.


20K per month for a fresh grad is quite a lot, though.
 

desert rat

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It is very important to look at location when looking at slary. If you are in a big city with alot of compitition for positions than salary will be low. If you are rural EAst or West coast than you may make more.

I went to the military and made a base salary of about $45000 with bonuses about $60,000 and with student loans and family responsibilities that was too little. I am sure their salaries are much higher now.

You need to think about what you can realisticly produce per day. If you feel you could produce $5000 a day, shrink it down to $3000 because you will find you are to fresh or new to be doing fast quaity work. You will be slow at first and checking everything twice. Now take and multiply that production time 30% and that will give you a rough idea where you will start.

You also have to look at how many days a week you will work and how much vacation time you will take. The more you work, the more you make.
 

capisce?

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Guarantee of 200k, 35% of collections above and beyond which would be significant. Two other co-residents who have contracts are also starting at that same base.
Since I know people will ask, it's all about volume in pedo. Will see 40-50 patients daily, not for the faint of heart.
 

blankguy

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Guarantee of 200k, 35% of collections, probably will make 2x base judging from past associates.
Since I know people will ask, it's all about volume in pedo. Will see 40-50 patients daily, not for the faint of heart.
Whoa! That's really going to take a toll on you. :eek:
 

desert rat

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I love pedodontists. They are worth every penny they earn. I used to treat alot of kids until we got a pedodontist in the area. I can only hear out one ear and I want to keep my hearing in it, so if they yell it's off to the pedodontist. lol:D
 
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kevin512

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Should I talk to the dean of admissions at the school I got accepted too? I want to make a sound finical decision: either enter the Navy (pays for dental school/stipend and promised 90k or more for 4yrs) or become an associate with someone.

What do you thing?
 

TempleDMDKrazd

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Should I talk to the dean of admissions at the school I got accepted too? I want to make a sound finical decision: either enter the Navy (pays for dental school/stipend and promised 90k or more for 4yrs) or become an associate with someone.

What do you thing?
when i talked to the navy they told me more realistically you're looking at 60-80k per year....
 

Cold Front

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Should I talk to the dean of admissions at the school I got accepted too? I want to make a sound finical decision: either enter the Navy (pays for dental school/stipend and promised 90k or more for 4yrs) or become an associate with someone.

What do you thing?
There are pros and cons to both scenarios. The way I see it, think in the long-term.

My roommate got the air-force scholarship (similar to navy), and he says they will pay him about $60K plus benefits each year when gets out. They are also paying for his 4 yrs tuition and fees, and are throwing in a monthly stipend of ~$1,500 (more than the little bugger needs) throughout his DMD training. Sp they invested about $270k in him to join them as an officer/dentist, so he could earn $240k of income over the 4 years he is committed to serve. Most people don't realize something else, it's not exactly 4 years, I don't know what they call it, but there could be additional years where he is required to serve if they REALLY need him (look it up!).

For me, I only pay for tuition and fees through federal direct loans, my living costs (which is about $1k a month) is paid by my family (I understand not everyone has this option). Ultimately, I anticipate to end up with $200K debt. When I start to associate, and I average $125k a year for the first four years after school, that's a total of $500k income (this is a very fair number and is based on if I don't work more hours than I have to!). Will I be able to payback my loans during that time? sure, I still have about $75k/yr to live on each of those 4 years (which is little more that what the military is paying for my roommate).

So, weigh your options and then decide which route fits your circumstances!

p.s. all the numbers I mentioned are based on taxable income. :rolleyes:
 

Omahahahaha

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There are pros and cons to both scenarios. The way I see it, think in the long-term.

My roommate got the air-force scholarship (similar to navy), and he says they will pay him about $60K plus benefits each year when gets out. They are also paying for his 4 yrs tuition and fees, and are throwing in a monthly stipend of ~$1,500 (more than the little bugger needs) throughout his DMD training. Sp they invested about $270k in him to join them as an officer/dentist, so he could earn $240k of income over the 4 years he is committed to serve. Most people don't realize something else, it's not exactly 4 years, I don't know what they call it, but there could be additional years where he is required to serve if they REALLY need him (look it up!).

For me, I only pay for tuition and fees through federal direct loans, my living costs (which is about $1k a month) is paid by my family (I understand not everyone has this option). Ultimately, I anticipate to end up with $200K debt. When I start to associate, and I average $125k a year for the first four years after school, that's a total of $500k income (this is a very fair number and is based on if I don't work more hours than I have to!). Will I be able to payback my loans during that time? sure, I still have about $75k/yr to live on each of those 4 years (which is little more that what the military is paying for my roommate).

So, weigh your options and then decide which route fits your circumstances!

p.s. all the numbers I mentioned are based on taxable income. :rolleyes:
Except for your Air Force friend's ~$60K a month plus benefits. Some, but not all of that income is taxed.
 

aggie-master

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South, Pedo

Guarantee of 200k, 35% of collections above and beyond which would be significant. Two other co-residents who have contracts are also starting at that same base.
Since I know people will ask, it's all about volume in pedo. Will see 40-50 patients daily, not for the faint of heart.
Based on my tiny experience with kids in the clinic you'll be underpaid.

Pedo is the one specialty that I've already ruled out. Some of the kids are great, but many are just horrible and I would imagine that most general dentists keep the good young patients in their office and send the rest out.
 

KendoMania

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60K/year for base pay? When I looked at the pay chart for NAVY, O-3 rank pay was something around 33K/year (excluding housing and other stuff) And I was told that the total income(base pay+other stuff) would be approximately $75K/year. Is this a right figure?
 
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kevin512

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I have asked my recruiter to provide me information (not anecdotal) on income and the stipend- hard proof of income over the next 8 years. I am steaming mad right now. Six months ago, when I started the application (now I just finished) he promised me 90k salary and a stipend of $1900. That has slowly turned into 60k salary and $1600 stipend. I feel like I just went to a car dealer ship. I emailed him a week ago, but not reply as of yet.

I hope he replies with some good information.
 

Tenacious D

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You can't legitimately go into the military strictly for financial reasons. When you enlist in a branch of the armed forces, you are signing a contract to be a soldier/dentist or a dentist/soldier, depending on what branch you go into. That entails many additional obligations beyond doing clinical dentistry.

From the dental professors I have, many of whom are retired military, the benefits come with career service (some receive $90K annually in retirement benefits) and the fact that you don't deal with patient finances since the government pays for it all. You may end up in the Amalgam trap doing fillings all day long for years. You may decide to specialize and get to see lots of great cases. It's a crap-shoot, but not something to do because you're trying to set yourself up financially right out of school.

You can realistically make $120-150K going to work and not doing any postgrad study. It all depends on what your focus is when you leave school and what connections you've made. I know general dentists who make $400K 10 years into the profession. Find someone who is BUSINESS SAVVY and pick their brain. Ask around. You'll quickly realize that there are a lot of excellent dentists who are broke, and piss-poor clinicians who are rolling in dough. It's all about adequately managing your business, promoting your image, and doing quality work quickly.

Carpe diem.
 

makushin

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You can't legitimately go into the military strictly for financial reasons. When you enlist in a branch of the armed forces, you are signing a contract to be a soldier/dentist or a dentist/soldier, depending on what branch you go into. That entails many additional obligations beyond doing clinical dentistry.

From the dental professors I have, many of whom are retired military, the benefits come with career service (some receive $90K annually in retirement benefits) and the fact that you don't deal with patient finances since the government pays for it all. You may end up in the Amalgam trap doing fillings all day long for years. You may decide to specialize and get to see lots of great cases. It's a crap-shoot, but not something to do because you're trying to set yourself up financially right out of school.

You can realistically make $120-150K going to work and not doing any postgrad study. It all depends on what your focus is when you leave school and what connections you've made. I know general dentists who make $400K 10 years into the profession. Find someone who is BUSINESS SAVVY and pick their brain. Ask around. You'll quickly realize that there are a lot of excellent dentists who are broke, and piss-poor clinicians who are rolling in dough. It's all about adequately managing your business, promoting your image, and doing quality work quickly.

Carpe diem.
I don't think anyone's getting $90k annual military retirement unless they had several stars on thier shoulder. ~$50k is more typical. Still a good deal!
 

makushin

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I have asked my recruiter to provide me information (not anecdotal) on income and the stipend- hard proof of income over the next 8 years. I am steaming mad right now. Six months ago, when I started the application (now I just finished) he promised me 90k salary and a stipend of $1900. That has slowly turned into 60k salary and $1600 stipend. I feel like I just went to a car dealer ship. I emailed him a week ago, but not reply as of yet.

I hope he replies with some good information.
Is this true about the stipend? The 60k bit is not entirely true, unless you are stationed in a very cheap housing market. I think 65-70k is probably more accurate, considering the tax advantages and annual bonus.
 

jfitzpat

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I have asked my recruiter to provide me information (not anecdotal) on income and the stipend- hard proof of income over the next 8 years. I am steaming mad right now. Six months ago, when I started the application (now I just finished) he promised me 90k salary and a stipend of $1900. That has slowly turned into 60k salary and $1600 stipend. I feel like I just went to a car dealer ship. I emailed him a week ago, but not reply as of yet.

I hope he replies with some good information.
The stipend goes to $1900 at the start of July, so if you are just starting school, it will be that by the time you get going.

90k is pretty high. If you are stationed somewhere hideously expensive like San Diego, it is possible, but for smaller midwestern cities, 60k-65k is closer to the mark. They apparently raised the ASP to 10k this year, which helps. You can see for yourself by googling "military pay calculator" and plugging in the numbers.
 

hobie23

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Everyone that is talking of their huge saleries is frogetting to mention that dentist too have to pay taxes... take at least 35% right off the top. Plus the intrest your gonna accrue on your 250K student loans.
 

capisce?

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Everyone that is talking of their huge saleries is frogetting to mention that dentist too have to pay taxes... take at least 35% right off the top. Plus the intrest your gonna accrue on your 250K student loans.
Thanks Captain Obvious :thumbup: The interest accruing on the loans is actually a tax deduction in a lot of cases. If you make 200k and are paying 35% to uncle sam it's time to hire a new CPA.
 

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makushin

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Thanks Captain Obvious :thumbup: The interest accruing on the loans is actually a tax deduction in a lot of cases. If you make 200k and are paying 35% to uncle sam it's time to hire a new CPA.
So what do you expect to pay?
 

pietrodds

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It's simple, don't do the military if the money is your primary motivator. You'll be miserable! If you're going back and forth with a recruiter about an extra 1000K a month pay you're doing it for the wrong reasons and you'll grow to resent your decision. It's a noble venture but in the end financially it won't put you ahead long term. If you do it for a lifetime, you're guaranteed a comfortable but not necessarily lucrative life with a nice retirement at an early age. The trade off in the military is you don't get to do what you want, how you want, and when you want and it may not be the most family friendly environment. Private practice has no guarantees but the averages tell you that you'll be ahead financially in the real world. There's good and bad to everything.

Do what works for you... if you chase after money ALL the time whether it be military or private practice your bank account may be full but your soul will be broke.
 

jfitzpat

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Thanks Captain Obvious :thumbup: The interest accruing on the loans is actually a tax deduction in a lot of cases. If you make 200k and are paying 35% to uncle sam it's time to hire a new CPA.
I'm siding with Captain Obvious here. If you are making 200k, you will NOT be able to deduct a penny of student loan interest no matter how much you owe. Plus, if you are in private practice, 35% is a pretty reasonable number when you include federal taxes, state taxes (if you have them), medicare, and the double hit from social security.
 
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kevin512

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My sister, a finance major, did a finical report on navy vs. loans. She factored in almost every conceivable cost in my life for the next 8 years. To my surprise the Navy was a better option. Another friend of mine, a CPA, is going to do the same thing for me (but I am not letting him see my sisters report). Hopefully I will be able to post the report on my blog by tomorrow.:eek:
 

Daurang

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Plus, if you are in private practice, 35% is a pretty reasonable number when you include federal taxes, state taxes (if you have them), medicare, and the double hit from social security.
If i am really paying 35% taxes then I should have 65% of the net money left for the discretionary spending but it never works out that way. After paying all the taxes it comes out to maybe 70%:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road UsageTax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Can't wait to retire and have Obama take care of me.
 

Rube

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Hey military dentists, way to hijack the only interesting thread on this forum. I thought the question was

HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST YEAR?
 
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pietrodds

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many have said what they planned to make or thought they'd make. The reality is it's extremely difficult to make more than 100-150K as an associate the first three years out. Even after three years as an associate, you'll be hard pressed to make more than 200K. Don't get me wrong that's a hell of a lot of money especially when you're a student! I would plan on making 100K the first two years and if you're doing better than that then you're in the top 50%. Live frugally the first 5 years!!!!! It will open up a lot more doors for you and you'll have a better idea of what doors you want to walk through. Many will find that you don't/can't work at the pace to make 300K/year. Plus, you may find once you're comfortable financially you'd rather take the extra time to spend with family not making an extra 50K a year working longer hours.
 

jfitzpat

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Hey military dentists, way to hijack the only interesting thread on this forum. I thought the question was

HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST YEAR?
If you had bothered to read all the posts, you would have noticed that the ORIGINAL POSTER brought up the military in one of his replies. Maybe you should pay attention before casting stones...
 
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kevin512

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First off, I am sorry for hijacking this thread, but only one or two dentist replied with a serious answer. The reason I started this thread was to get a good feel for what income I would see if I wasn't in the Navy. Right now I feel as if many people in SDN and in my dental school are in an "income bubble". Many members feel that earning $150K is practicable. At the moment, I am wary of that number. If any DENTIST wants to post their earnings after leaving dental school that would be great. Please understand that I am not asking for anecdotal information or for a pre-dental, dental student to respond (please don't take offense if you have already replied, it's better than nothing).

You might want to go to my blog and read my last post before going to the full report, it will make much more sense.
 

jfitzpat

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First off, I am sorry for hijacking this thread, but only one or two dentist replied with a serious answer. The reason I started this thread was to get a good feel for what income I would see if I wasn't in the Navy. Right now I feel as if many people in SDN and in my dental school are in an "income bubble". Many members feel that earning $150K is practicable. At the moment, I am wary of that number. If any DENTIST wants to post their earnings after leaving dental school that would be great. Please understand that I am not asking for anecdotal information or for a pre-dental, dental student to respond (please don't take offense if you have already replied, it's better than nothing).

You might want to go to my blog and read my last post before going to the full report, it will make much more sense.
The simple fact is there really aren't that many dentists who frequent this site. If you want to get in touch with more actual practicing dentists, you will have more success over at dentaltown. That being said, you'll have trouble getting the exact numbers you are looking for over there as well because peolple aren't really huge on disclosing their income (as I'm sure you can understand). The basic line you'll get from dentists over in dentaltown is to expect to earn less than what everyone is saying because people are overly optimistic and prone to lie about what they make.

Also, you shouldn't be sorry because you can't hijack your own thread.
 

sarah_bellum

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The simple fact is there really aren't that many dentists who frequent this site. If you want to get in touch with more actual practicing dentists, you will have more success over at dentaltown. That being said, you'll have trouble getting the exact numbers you are looking for over there as well because peolple aren't really huge on disclosing their income (as I'm sure you can understand). The basic line you'll get from dentists over in dentaltown is to expect to earn less than what everyone is saying because people are overly optimistic and prone to lie about what they make.

Also, you shouldn't be sorry because you can't hijack your own thread.
Actually, it's the method by which this question is asked that makes the thread unique. It's not asking how much any dentist currently makes in practice. It's asking how much folks made in their first year out (and hopefully, the circumstances).
 

Cold Front

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The reason I started this thread was to get a good feel for what income I would see if I wasn't in the Navy. Right now I feel as if many people in SDN and in my dental school are in an "income bubble". Many members feel that earning $150K is practicable.
One of my good friends (who also happens to be a dentist) told me that he graduated with about $120k (this was about 6 years ago), and he worked his butt off for about a year and half to pay off his debt. During that time, he worked 6 days a week, and was making about $550/day (he said this was easy to make as long you are not in super saturated area). He only took couple weeks off for vacation the entire 18 months, and it worked out well for him.

So... let's do the math!

$550/day for 6 days = $3,300/week x 50 weeks = $165k + another 6 months = $247,500. Obviously, this is before tax, but even if someone did that for 2 years, that would be $330k. Enough to pay off your debt, while building business knowledge and clinical experience to become solo by your 3rd year out of school.

The down side about the navy option is, from what I heard, you start at O-3 pay level, which is about $3-4k/month, plus room, board and food allowances.

If you are trying to do the navy thing purely for money, then I don't think it's the right choice - but that's just my opinion.
 

anamod

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May I ask what state were you practicing in?
In Minnesota and not in the Twin Cities metro area. My personal opinion is go rural and you will have more money than you know what to do with.

I would rather live in the country and make more money and be able to take more time off to got to the "Big Cities" if I want. I see to many people graduate and stay in the large cities and complain about not making it.

My wife just bought a practice in a small town of 1300. The dentist to population for the zip code is 1:6500 she does not have a single opening until the first week in August, all the emergency spots are even filled until the end of June and this is with me helping out 10 days a month.
 

Cold Front

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In Minnesota and not in the Twin Cities metro area. My personal opinion is go rural and you will have more money than you know what to do with.
MN was ranked #1 as the best state to be a dentist by the Woman Dentist e-Journal recently. I don't know if the survey targeted female dentists only, or both genders.

http://downloads.pennnet.com/web_dl/921.pdf
 

KOM

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If you are trying to do the navy thing purely for money, then I don't think it's the right choice - but that's just my opinion.
It is an opinion. It all depends on the amount of debt you will accrue over the course of your education. I'm maximizing my profitability as an out of state resident by doing a 3 year HPSP scholarship as opposed to a 4, but that is because my final 3 years in dental school carries a price tag of about 200K. Tack on another 250K from my wife's medical school and THAT'S SOME DEBT! :laugh:

In your friends scenario, he will carry less debt, but with a total salary of about 330 K, take about 100K right off the top in taxes. 230K - 120K debt = 110K/2 = 55K per year to live off. Nothing wrong with that...but educational price tags have gone up over the past 6 years. And he worked his *** off. Military...paid month off, holidays, etc. Look, in general, without going into a crap ton of factors (some of which are uncontrollable and lifestyle choices etc) if you're not making more than 200K/year in the civilian world your first few years out and you're taking more than 200K in debt then financially Navy, AF, Army will put you a pretty good deal ahead.

I'm not advocating joining the military. Everyone in the military says, dont join if you're doing it purely for financial reasons. Instead...patriotism, etc, bla bla bla should take precedence. Factors mentioned above that will change everything include devoting 5 years of inactive reserve to the govt.

Imagine starting a practice and getting called back to serve, which by the way actually happened to my grandfather. He LOST BIG BUCKS because of it. The military is a gamble. If you can get into NHSC do it....but remember there is uncertainty on both sides that will affect monetary compensation in the future (ADHP, universal health care, etc). Everyone I talk to says if you can avoid as much debt as possible early on...better off you are. Your educational debt is just the beginning...private practice, mortgage, condos on Myrtle Beach come later.