Orthodontist Salary Range

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Orthodontist Salary Range

An orthodontist is a dental specialist and earns a fairly good pay packet, depending on his work experience and location. The article below will guide you with the salary range of an orthodontist.

Orthodontics is a special branch of dentistry, that deals with the structural problems of the teeth and jaw. The name, ‘orthodontics’ has Greek origin, where “ortho” means straight and “odons” means teeth. Orthodontics basically comprises improving teeth alignment and other oral structures. You will need to acquaint yourself with the job profile of an orthodontist prior to knowing their salary range.

Job Description

  • An orthodontist helps to get rid of facial abnormalities, like irregular bite or uneven teeth.
  • He/She examines, diagnoses, and finds solutions for the deformities in the positioning of the teeth or jaw.
  • Before getting started with any procedure, the orthodontist has to study the dental history of the client.
  • Dental X-rays and photographs are taken to analyze the possible result after the treatment.
  • The orthodontist has to decide what exact alterations are required to be done in the oral structure of the client to improve the appearance along with normal function.
  • With all the available data, the orthodontist then plans the treatment.
  • He/She designs and manufactures special dental appliances, like retainers, dental braces, etc.
  • Treatment may be done for mere improvement of appearance, while sometimes, it is done to help the client with easy chewing and swallowing of the food.


  • Orthodontics is basically a business-oriented medical field; thus, professionalism and good communication skills are two basic requirements.
  • Good time management skills, great logical and analytical thinking, perfect hand-eye coordination, and good eyesight are some more basic requirements to become an orthodontist.

Salary Range

  • The salary of an orthodontist is governed by three factors – skills and work experience, type of employment, and the geographical area.
  • As mentioned earlier, orthodontics is business. Thus, the more clients you have, the more money you earn. Skills and great work experience are two basic necessities to make good money in orthodontics.
  • The location where the orthodontist has established the clinic also plays a major role. Orthodontist salaries in NYC (New York City) is considerably higher than other cities and states, possibly due to the high standard of living. Those working in the Midwest may earn lesser.
  • Education is one more important factor that influences the salary. An orthodontist with a higher educational degree and adequate amount of training earns a higher pay packet.
  • It is observed that those who are self employed earn far more than the ones who work under some other employer.

Salary by Location

  • According to the BLS, orthodontists earn a median wage between USD 160,000 to USD 200,000, annually. Of course, this kind of money comes with considerable experience.
  • Another point to be noted, as already mentioned before, is the location. A high urbanized, cosmopolitan area will always pay better.
  • As per statistics, orthodontists earn between USD 170,000 to USD 300,000 in states, like New York, Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Arkansas, California, etc.
  • States, like Idaho, Hawaii, and Alaska pay between USD 100,000 to USD 200,000.
  • The demand for orthodontists is observed to be the highest in states, like Florida, Wisconsin, Washington, etc.

Salary by Experience

  • At an entry-level, these professionals may be paid between USD 80,000 to USD 150,000.
  • Half a decade of experience pays a salary between USD 100,000 to USD 190,000.
  • 10 years of experience qualifies for a range of USD 120,000 to USD 200,000.
  • More than 10 years of experience will pay you between USD 200,000 to more than USD 300,000, especially in private practice.

Salary by Employment Sector

  • Initially, orthodontists may start at hospitals for their internship and residency, and may not be paid much. Hospitals generally pay between USD 50,000 to USD 90,000.
  • Private firms and consultancies, shared offices, etc., help you earn much above USD 250,000.
  • Self-employed professionals earn between USD 100,000 to USD 200,000.

Work Environment

  • The working hours of an orthodontist can be anywhere between 30-40 hours per week.
  • They do not have to work for emergency situations as with other medical practitioners.
  • Many work independently and run dental clinics, while some of them work with other health practitioners and dentists.

This was a brief information on orthodontist salary. The figures given in the above tables are approximate and may change with circumstances and area.

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