Dentists’ wages projected to take major hit in 10 years

Dentist Latina Woman

By 2033, dentists will continue to be high earners, but their average hourly wages estimated with inflation are projected to take a deep cut and are more significant than those projected for other occupations, according to recently released research.  

In 10 years, a dentist’s hourly wage is projected to decrease by $13.72. Doctors and lawyers also will take earning hits, but they are less harsh at decreases of $2.89 and $5 per hour, respectively, according to the 2023 Pay Study from the California-based international telecommunications provider TollFreeForwarding.com.

Though workers in every job are expected to make more money in 2033 than they did in 2023, not every position is projected to see a boost in earnings in 10 years, when projections are adjusted for an estimated 10-year inflation rate of 2.13%. The inflation rate is estimated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, according to the findings.  

To come up with the projections, annual mean hourly earnings for each job in 2013 and 2022 were gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Excel Forecast.ets function, which provides exponential smoothing forecasts based on a series of existing values, was used to forecast the hourly earnings for each position. In addition to dentists, doctors, and lawyers, the company explored the earnings for artists, writers, and performers, registered nurses, information technology, telecommunications, journalists and reporters, teachers, construction workers, graphic designers, electricians, passenger drivers, cashiers, bartenders, and janitors.

Furthermore, the unadjusted historical and projected earnings for each job were used to calculate the actual difference in earnings between 2013 and 2023 and 2023 to 2033. For those same time periods, the adjusted-for-inflation historical and projected earnings for each job were used to calculate the adjusted difference in earnings. 

After crunching the numbers, it was revealed that dentists were expected to see their earnings not only shrink the most by 2023 compared to other professions, but they would fall below what they made in 2013.

In 2013, their hourly earnings were $81.19, and their adjusted earnings were $106.52. In 2023, dentists earned hourly wages of $87.66. In 2033, dentists are projected to earn $93.95, and the adjusted hourly rate is forecasted at $73.94. This is $13.72 less per hour than they earned in 2023, according to the results.

Despite the drop in hourly wages, dentists are expected to be the second-highest earners in 2023 among the occupations explored in this study. In 10 years, doctors are expected to earn the most at a forecasted $150 per hour, according to the research.

The biggest hourly pay increases are projected for registered nurses followed by artists, writers, and performers.

Though job demand plays a major role in determining shifts in salaries, there are other contributing factors, including the number of college-educated candidates in the job market, according to the company.

In 2022, there were nearly 7,000 dental school graduates, which is an increase from the previous year. However, BLS forecasts about 5,100 new openings will be available to dentists each year for the next decade, according to the research. 

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