What was your first-year (starting) salary right out of dental school?

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planisphere

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Right now I'm a 2nd year in Temple Dental school, and this curiosity suddenly struck me.

What was your first-year (starting) salary right out of dental school?

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40k...because I was only working 3 days a week from august to december.
From my experience it was hard to find a full-time job...
 
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Yes, I started with about 40K plus incentives and benefits and bonuses in the military. I then went on to practice at a few nonprofit clinic in NC where I received Loan Repayment. That salary range was from $98k to $125k which was pretty good for the South and working in Community Dentistry. I am now in NY practicing at a hospital clinic and teaching residents. My salary is $140k plus a lot of great benefits, etc. It all depends on what area of dentistry you choose whether it's Public Health, Community Dentistry or Private Practice. Good thought for your second year but just focus on getting those clinical requirements completed and passing those boards and exams. Dentistry is not going anywhere and you'll have plenty of time to make money. Time flies but get an idea of what you want to do when you get out. A residency is a MUST. There are a lot of opportunities out there but don't expect to make a lot as soon as you get that degree and license in hand. You can make a decent salary, but make sure you get that residency and experience under your belt.. A residency on my CV made a huge difference when offers were handed down. Best wishes.
 
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Right now I'm a 2nd year in Temple Dental school, and this curiosity suddenly struck me.

What was your first-year (starting) salary right out of dental school?

I graduated in 2011. My first year out, which was only 4 months-- I didn't get my license, DEA, etc. until middle of July and didn't start working until September 1st. My salary was around $23,000. This included two different jobs, and an unemployment period of approx. 3 weeks. My first job was in private practice, with a monthly draw. This situation did not work out as anticipated because there were not enough patients to keep two dentists busy, there wasn't a game plan to incorporate an associate into the practice with the slowing economy.

My second job, which I am still at, is a corporation. Not ideal by any means, but it has given me ample opportunity to improve my comfort level, speed, and efficiency. My first full year of practice, for matter of discussion, let's say started January 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012. I anticipate my annual salary to be between $115,000-$120,000. This includes working 40 hours/wk for approx. 8 months and 32 hours/wk for 4 months. My loan payments are between $1000-$1500 per month.
 
Associate Dentist: annual income varies b/c it's dependent upon what you do, rather then time. Average $400-600 right out of school. Potentially around $120k. Check the JADA. There was an article about dentist income this year.

Ok REAL numbers now. My first year I made $500 per day for the first 3 months, then 25% of collections at corporate dentistry. In my first FULL year, my 1040 shows taxable income as $112000. 35% in federal taxes, 8% in state taxes. So I'm left with $62k. I have student loans, like most, at a $2k/month. So after taxes I pay $24k/year. So now all said and done $38k.

To practice, you need professional liability, state license fee, CPR, CE units, at least. Forgetting ADA/State/Local dental society dues/fees, health insurance, disability insurance, etc. I think I spent $1.5 to 2k. So my rough math .... about $35k in my first year left over spend on the Mercedes.

My advice: Join the military, Dental Corps to pay for school and have a job right out. Residency is defly a MUST per the previous doctor had mentioned. You'll actually learn about dentistry. Work for someone/Find a mentor your first year out after and learn about the business... the dentistry is the easy part. Then start your own practice. You'll double your income, you'll practice your own dental philosophy, you'll do what you want.
 
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Associate Dentist: annual income varies b/c it's dependent upon what you do, rather then time. Average $400-600 right out of school. Potentially around $120k. Check the JADA. There was an article about dentist income this year.

Ok REAL numbers now. My first year I made $500 per day for the first 3 months, then 25% of collections at corporate dentistry. In my first FULL year, my 1040 shows taxable income as $112000. 35% in federal taxes, 8% in state taxes. So I'm left with $62k. I have student loans, like most, at a $2k/month. So after taxes I pay $24k/year. So now all said and done $38k.

To practice, you need professional liability, state license fee, CPR, CE units, at least. Forgetting ADA/State/Local dental society dues/fees, health insurance, disability insurance, etc. I think I spent $1.5 to 2k. So my rough math .... about $35k in my first year left over spend on the Mercedes.

My advice: Join the military, Dental Corps to pay for school and have a job right out. Residency is defly a MUST per the previous doctor had mentioned. You'll actually learn about dentistry. Work for someone/Find a mentor your first year out after and learn about the business... the dentistry is the easy part. Then start your own practice. You'll double your income, you'll practice your own dental philosophy, you'll do what you want.

Ditto. Only difference is my loan payments are roughly $1300/mo. Although I'm not sure a residency is really a must. A residency is great if you can get into one of the best programs-- I wouldn't do a 5th year of dental school AEGD residency.
 
$175k
 
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I started a Pedo practice directly out of residency in 2004 in Ky. Start up was 275k. My profit that first year was 20 k. Luckily I had a spouse that worked a good job and my student loans were only 90k. I also worked two days a week for a pedo office for two years. As of 2012 all loans are paid off and the business had a profit of 350k. My advice is to start your own practice. I realize that is not an option for many students with huge debt burdens.
 
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I work for a corporate practice and my initial contract was for 115K. I did my year and came prepared for contract negotiations. I collected all data, normalized the data for future expectations and expected collections. My 2nd contract was for 175k. I work exclusively with pediatric patients, and have since chosen to return for a residency (I find out where I'm going tomorrow!!!). My goal is to start my own practice, which, as a previous poster stated, is a good way to go if feasible. There are options out there for good opportunities, they just may not be in your back yard. I live in a metropolitan downtown area and commute about an hour each way to work (5 days/week), but for me the satisfaction with the patients, work, company is worth it!
 
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I work for a corporate practice and my initial contract was for 115K. I did my year and came prepared for contract negotiations. I collected all data, normalized the data for future expectations and expected collections. My 2nd contract was for 175k. I work exclusively with pediatric patients, and have since chosen to return for a residency (I find out where I'm going tomorrow!!!). My goal is to start my own practice, which, as a previous poster stated, is a good way to go if feasible. There are options out there for good opportunities, they just may not be in your back yard. I live in a metropolitan downtown area and commute about an hour each way to work (5 days/week), but for me the satisfaction with the patients, work, company is worth it!

Good luck for tomorrow and thanks for giving us all the details. I'm with ya 100% about finding opportunities rather than waiting for them to fall in your lap. Between undergrad and what will be the start of dental school I've found a nice job that pays well but I do commute 45 minutes each way. I guess these are all some of the sacrifices we must make to succeed in this economic climate.
 
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$45K because that's what the GPR paid - haha. Since then, I've done well over $200K/year in private practice as an associate, but I work 5-5.5 days a week between two practices and I do a variety of procedures (implants, difficult exts, perio surgery, invisalign, some easy endo). I still refer out a good bit (especially PITA pts), but probably not as much as the usual doc. Most of the docs around here work the usual 4 days a week. In this economy, I figure you need to make hay while the sun shines. I'll probably cut back when I buy a practice. Who am I kidding - I'm a workaholic...If I could give you any advice, it's to learn as much as you can (duh). Find a GOOD GPR/AEGD (if you aren't going to specialize) to develop some additional skills. It will make you a more viable candidate to potential employers. When I was looking for jobs (did about 8 interviews), I actually included a list of procedures (with the appropriate codes) that I could do. It adds value in the owner's eyes. A then don't stop learning! I spend well over 10K every year on quality CE. It'll pay off in the long run (and it's deductible). My 2 cents. Good luck in the real world - it's a lot better than d school.:thumbup:
 
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Do dental residents usually have salaries? or they have to pay for their residency programs?
 
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Associate Dentist: annual income varies b/c it's dependent upon what you do, rather then time. Average $400-600 right out of school. Potentially around $120k. Check the JADA. There was an article about dentist income this year.

Ok REAL numbers now. My first year I made $500 per day for the first 3 months, then 25% of collections at corporate dentistry. In my first FULL year, my 1040 shows taxable income as $112000. 35% in federal taxes, 8% in state taxes. So I'm left with $62k. I have student loans, like most, at a $2k/month. So after taxes I pay $24k/year. So now all said and done $38k.

To practice, you need professional liability, state license fee, CPR, CE units, at least. Forgetting ADA/State/Local dental society dues/fees, health insurance, disability insurance, etc. I think I spent $1.5 to 2k. So my rough math .... about $35k in my first year left over spend on the Mercedes.

My advice: Join the military, Dental Corps to pay for school and have a job right out. Residency is defly a MUST per the previous doctor had mentioned. You'll actually learn about dentistry. Work for someone/Find a mentor your first year out after and learn about the business... the dentistry is the easy part. Then start your own practice. You'll double your income, you'll practice your own dental philosophy, you'll do what you want.

Great post. Most people think that dentists are rolling in it, but annual income is much different than being "rich". A friend of mine sells tractors. He started right out of high school. He now makes about 70k. Factoring the 8 years of lost wages, and the cost of dental school, he may have made the better financial decision. Not complaining, but dentistry is not the best way to get rich.
 
I am not a doctor, but i like to compare myself to see how i am doing.. Lets say i am competitive. I own 4 stores nothing to.do with health care or dentistry. Wife and i make over 250k clean. Which i would say equals a doctor making 400k a year, since they have to pay taxes and other fees. I plan to open two more locations within 6 months, if everything goes to plan then i would add another $50k to 150k more in earnings. My dream is to make as much as $100k a month, either way i know i would want more when i get there. :)
 
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I am not a doctor, but i like to compare myself to see how i am doing.. Lets say i am competitive. I own 4 stores nothing to.do with health care or dentistry. Wife and i make over 250k clean. Which i would say equals a doctor making 400k a year, since they have to pay taxes and other fees. I plan to open two more locations within 6 months, if everything goes to plan then i would add another $50k to 150k more in earnings. My dream is to make as much as $100k a month, either way i know i would want more when i get there. :)

what kind of stores? Just a little curious.
 
I am not a doctor, but i like to compare myself to see how i am doing.. Lets say i am competitive. I own 4 stores nothing to.do with health care or dentistry. Wife and i make over 250k clean. Which i would say equals a doctor making 400k a year, since they have to pay taxes and other fees. I plan to open two more locations within 6 months, if everything goes to plan then i would add another $50k to 150k more in earnings. My dream is to make as much as $100k a month, either way i know i would want more when i get there. :)

And you don't have to pay taxes? What exactly are these "stores" you speak of?
 
500k straight out of D-school. worked only 4 days a week. :thumbup:
 
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I am not a doctor, but i like to compare myself to see how i am doing.. Lets say i am competitive. I own 4 stores nothing to.do with health care or dentistry. Wife and i make over 250k clean. Which i would say equals a doctor making 400k a year, since they have to pay taxes and other fees. I plan to open two more locations within 6 months, if everything goes to plan then i would add another $50k to 150k more in earnings. My dream is to make as much as $100k a month, either way i know i would want more when i get there. :)

Bro, do you even lift?
 
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I am not a doctor, but i like to compare myself to see how i am doing.. Lets say i am competitive. I own 4 stores nothing to.do with health care or dentistry. Wife and i make over 250k clean. Which i would say equals a doctor making 400k a year, since they have to pay taxes and other fees. I plan to open two more locations within 6 months, if everything goes to plan then i would add another $50k to 150k more in earnings. My dream is to make as much as $100k a month, either way i know i would want more when i get there. :)

This guy wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon in 2005...he couldn't get in...so he opened some crappy "cell phone shops"...he didn't quite reach his potential i guess
 
This guy wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon in 2005...he couldn't get in...so he opened some crappy "cell phone shops"...he didn't quite reach his potential i guess

U mad bro? He was interested in making money, which I can guarantee you is to be made more outside of healthcare than in healthcare. If you care about money alone, don't go into dentistry. For example, being something like a dental anesthesiologist, you won't make as an owner of several "crappy cell phone shops."
 
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U mad bro? He was interested in making money, which I can guarantee you is to be made more outside of healthcare than in healthcare. If you care about money alone, don't go into dentistry. For example, being something like a dental anesthesiologist, you won't make as an owner of several "crappy cell phone shops."

Here we go again. You "guarantee," bro, that one can always make more money outside of healthcare than in healthcare? Why do you think that every year there are legions of people applying to MD, DDS, PharmD, etc.? Aside from a few individuals with idealistic passion, most do this precisely because the long-term earning potential. Compared to dental offices, "cell phone shops" are even more in abundance. Do you really think that in a rapidly changing landscape of cellular technology, a cell phone shop has the long-term sustainability of an established dental office?

It never ceases to amaze me how some people are so enamored with the so-called earning potential of certain fields. Let me guess--you mean finance, right? If only you can see the pandemonium in 2000, 2004, and 2008 when crashes in that field ruined the lives of so many individuals.
 
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This guy wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon in 2005...he couldn't get in...so he opened some crappy "cell phone shops"...he didn't quite reach his potential i guess

Sublimazing,
I wanted to be a Doctor since I was a kid, when got into college i knew that it wasnt my calling. Changed to IT until left college for good.
I will be opening two more crappy stores by the end of this year,which i be happy to add 50k to 150k a year (clean after taxes) i say 50 to 150 because in business we can never be sure. I had to close a store i opened in january this year,because it wasnt producing what planned, ao in total we have opened 6 stores sold one, closed one and still have 4 of them.
For the person who ask if i pay taxes : lol really? We gross around 2.5 million last year,from that rent alone is $130k a year, 8 employees i would say $130 to 150k a yearbetween all the stores. Rest is taxes and merchandise or service.
These crappy stores as you mention will actually make me a millionarie soon, i just started few years ago, so its been a good run.btw, I had hardly work now since almost a year. I work because i want to now. The first 2 to 3 years i work non stop, over 80 hours a week i think we took only two days off a year.
Potential: no limit, I know someone who owns 51 locations, 130 employees:)

So yes, i recommed even if you make a lot of.money working for.someone, start your own,there is no limit of what you could make , even if you sell car, tooth brushes or whatever it is. Btw, I am 25 years old. I have a friend who just got into dental school, when he gets out.maybe i help him start a practice.
 
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This guy wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon in 2005...he couldn't get in...so he opened some crappy "cell phone shops"...he didn't quite reach his potential i guess

Since when does one have to be a cardiovascular surgeon, or doctor for that matter, to say one has reached their full potential?... What a load of b.s.

This guys "crappy cell phone" business, as you so nicely put it, seems to being doing just fine. Can't blame him for having the guts to open up his own business & take on all that risk. It sounds like its paid off for him. It seems he made the smart move to get out of a profession where the government/insurance programs can change your income at the stroke of pen, which is more likely than not help by someone who is not a healthcare professional.
 
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Since when does one have to be a cardiovascular surgeon, or doctor for that matter, to say one has reached their full potential?... What a load of b.s.

This guys "crappy cell phone" business, as you so nicely put it, seems to being doing just fine. Can't blame him for having the guts to open up his own business & take on all that risk. It sounds like its paid off for him. It seems he made the smart move to get out of a profession where the government/insurance programs can change your income at the stroke of pen, which is more likely than not help by someone who is not a healthcare professional.

I was referring to the fact that HE personally set cardiovasc surgeon as his goal and then didn't meet that goal...I wasn't holding anyone else to that standard...so no I don't think he reached his potential

And let's be frank, it takes way more guts and risk to become a surgeon than opening up a few retail shops

He obviously has a chip on his shoulder for him to post here at all comparing his financial "success" with what he could have been
 
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First job right out of school at an FQHC. Full benefits, malpractice paid, CE allowance, etc. only thing I had to pay for was license and whatnot. Salary was 150k, or an hourly wage of about $72, plus the added benefit of getting about 31-32% of production once it was greater than my salary. Unfortunately it didn't work out with the other doc I was working with, so I went to a corporate office and am earning 600/day with full benefits.
 
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Yes, lets keep this conversation on topi.
Somone ask me something, so i responded.. Back to topic:)
 
I was referring to the fact that HE personally set cardiovasc surgeon as his goal and then didn't meet that goal...I wasn't holding anyone else to that standard...so no I don't think he reached his potential

And let's be frank, it takes way more guts and risk to become a surgeon than opening up a few retail shops

He obviously has a chip on his shoulder for him to post here at all comparing his financial "success" with what he could have been

Don't take what you hear without a shovel of salt. From what I understand cell phone stores are not as profitable as he makes it out to be. Most of the money is not made on activation but on accessorization. Overhead is also not nearly as low as he makes it out to be. Regardless, though, if he is doing well and is happy that's great for him. However, given a choice I will still take a healthcare career over cell phone industry. He former is a steady career with top 1-2% earning potential with about as solid a demand as there can be. Respect and appreciation from your patients is also nice.
 
Started out with 90k in Maryland, health insurance covered.

The dentists I know of that are doing the best financially are the ones that have a non-dental side business like real estate or whatever. Carry on..
 
Definitely depends on your location.

Mine was $48,550.00 but my good friend was near double that.

One of the reasons I relocated after my first year.
 
Don't take what you hear without a shovel of salt. From what I understand cell phone stores are not as profitable as he makes it out to be. Most of the money is not made on activation but on accessorization. Overhead is also not nearly as low as he makes it out to be. Regardless, though, if he is doing well and is happy that's great for him. However, given a choice I will still take a healthcare career over cell phone industry. He former is a steady career with top 1-2% earning potential with about as solid a demand as there can be. Respect and appreciation from your patients is also nice.

Shunwei,

How many years have you been in practice? Are you in Texas? Where are you looking to buy?
I assume you have looked through practice listings on Dentaltown. What's your take on those?

thanx
 
First job right out of school at an FQHC. Full benefits, malpractice paid, CE allowance, etc. only thing I had to pay for was license and whatnot. Salary was 150k, or an hourly wage of about $72, plus the added benefit of getting about 31-32% of production once it was greater than my salary. Unfortunately it didn't work out with the other doc I was working with, so I went to a corporate office and am earning 600/day with full benefits.

Lemon, are you in Vermont now? What were the offers like in California?
 
Shunwei,

How many years have you been in practice? Are you in Texas? Where are you looking to buy?
I assume you have looked through practice listings on Dentaltown. What's your take on those?

thanx

Silent I have been out about 1 1/2 yrs now. It doesn't sound like a lot, but I have done quite a bit over the past year and I am very confident at what I can do. I feel like via-a-via people my experience I am probably stronger than most. I am looking to buy a practice in a semi-rural area where the doc/patient ratio is favorable and would allow me to make good money and not deal with stuff especially like corporate dentistry. I am currently working with several brokers to find the right practice and do have one in my sights right now. 100% FFS, semi-rural pop with ratio of 3500:1 ratio, and a healthy NP flow, all equipment fairly modern with low overhead. In fact I am going down there this weekend to speak with the OldDoc. However, right now the market is a sellers market, so I won't rush into buying an office just for buying's sake. If I need to I can wait until next year which I predict will have more practices for sale.

My take on buying a practice is that you must be of a certain mentality to succeed. If you are just of a mindset to 'get-by," you can just associate for your entire career and still eke out a good living. However, this type of dentist probably will bounce around a lot of places for his/her entire career and won't be very financially successful, if that measure is taken into consideration. On the other hand, if you are like me, a strong-willed and dominant individual who likes to dictate my own course of action, then ownership might be the only road to true fulfillment. Not only will you get the entire profit, but you get to call your own shots, hire your own people who answer only to you (not like to senior management as in corporate dentistry), practice the way you want, and have the chance to derive the most financial rewards. It is a lot of work, to be sure, but I personally think it is priceless.
 
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Silent I have been out about 1 1/2 yrs now. It doesn't sound like a lot, but I have done quite a bit over the past year and I am very confident at what I can do. I feel like via-a-via people my experience I am probably stronger than most. I am looking to buy a practice in a semi-rural area where the doc/patient ratio is favorable and would allow me to make good money and not deal with stuff especially like corporate dentistry. I am currently working with several brokers to find the right practice and do have one in my sights right now. 100% FFS, semi-rural pop with ratio of 3500:1 ratio, and a healthy NP flow, all equipment fairly modern with low overhead. In fact I am going down there this weekend to speak with the OldDoc. However, right now the market is a sellers market, so I won't rush into buying an office just for buying's sake. If I need to I can wait until next year which I predict will have more practices for sale.

My take on buying a practice is that you must be of a certain mentality to succeed. If you are just of a mindset to 'get-by," you can just associate for your entire career and still eke out a good living. However, this type of dentist probably will bounce around a lot of places for his/her entire career and won't be very financially successful, if that measure is taken into consideration. On the other hand, if you are like me, a strong-willed and dominant individual who likes to dictate my own course of action, then ownership might be the only road to true fulfillment. Not only will you get the entire profit, but you get to call your own shots, hire your own people who answer only to you (not like to senior management as in corporate dentistry), practice the way you want, and have the chance to derive the most financial rewards. It is a lot of work, to be sure, but I personally think it is priceless.

Totally agree.:thumbup:
 
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