These Are The 10 Highest Dentist Salaries By State

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do dentists get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for dentists by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

So to better understand how dentist salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for dentists by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for dentists (and future dentists) after this adjustment? That would be North Dakota. Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for dentist salaries:

  1. North Dakota
  2. Delaware
  3. North Carolina
  4. South Carolina
  5. Idaho
  6. Ohio
  7. Alaska
  8. Wisconsin
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Kentucky

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

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How we determined dentist pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for dentists from the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their “Occupational Employment Statistics”.

However, to make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living in that state. As an example, the cost of living in California is $57,315 and the average dentist pay is $170,490, so our index value would be:

$170,490 / $57,315 = 2.97

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for dentists.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

Detailed List Of Dentist Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost of Living
1 North Dakota $231,107 $214,450 $46,814
2 Delaware $215,775 $227,160 $53,112
3 North Carolina $215,102 $211,370 $49,575
4 South Carolina $211,636 $195,350 $46,568
5 Idaho $210,542 $191,140 $45,801
6 Ohio $210,447 $191,270 $45,853
7 Alaska $201,356 $217,120 $54,400
8 Wisconsin $200,903 $203,570 $51,120
9 New Hampshire $199,400 $217,790 $55,103
10 Kentucky $196,242 $168,460 $43,308
11 Mississippi $195,532 $178,610 $46,084
12 Arkansas $194,065 $171,450 $44,571
13 Alabama $192,524 $174,870 $45,824
14 Kansas $191,432 $182,340 $48,054
15 Iowa $191,214 $185,270 $48,882
16 Tennessee $189,874 $176,080 $46,785
17 Oregon $188,542 $193,960 $51,900
18 Minnesota $187,144 $193,320 $52,115
19 Nevada $187,027 $195,360 $52,698
20 Georgia $186,813 $177,540 $47,946
21 West Virginia $184,150 $163,610 $44,823
22 Maine $182,203 $185,290 $51,305
23 Missouri $181,432 $166,000 $46,159
24 Wyoming $180,270 $171,340 $47,951
25 Washington $180,060 $182,990 $51,271
26 Texas $180,043 $171,870 $48,160
27 New Mexico $179,090 $170,570 $48,050
28 Vermont $175,654 $180,970 $51,977
29 Michigan $174,665 $169,080 $48,837
30 South Dakota $170,960 $153,880 $45,410
31 Rhode Island $170,776 $180,220 $53,240
32 Oklahoma $168,030 $155,250 $46,613
33 Colorado $167,608 $178,710 $53,792
34 Florida $164,543 $170,270 $52,206
35 Nebraska $161,038 $153,460 $48,076
36 Connecticut $159,892 $188,580 $59,502
37 Indiana $158,078 $146,760 $46,838
38 Montana $157,781 $147,250 $47,083
39 Arizona $153,234 $155,940 $51,341
40 Pennsylvania $152,238 $150,620 $49,914
41 Massachusetts $151,952 $179,390 $59,560
42 California $150,070 $170,490 $57,315
43 New Jersey $149,888 $166,700 $56,109
44 New York $148,446 $173,980 $59,128
45 Louisiana $146,255 $139,080 $47,975
46 Virginia $145,073 $156,040 $54,264
47 Illinois $144,105 $149,400 $52,304
48 Maryland $137,281 $158,310 $58,178
49 Hawaii $128,727 $154,880 $60,700
50 Utah $127,741 $121,340 $47,922

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