'Dentist' tops 100 Best Jobs poll for 2013

Dentists may be surprised to learn the results of U.S. News & World Report's annual 100 Best Jobs list.

"Dentist" tops the list of most desirable jobs going into 2013, according to the magazine, which analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS predicts 21% employment growth for dentist jobs between 2010 and 2020, above the average for all occupations, according to the article. Traditional dentist offices or other health practitioner offices should have particularly plentiful opportunities, it noted, with 25,000 new openings over the next eight years.

Among the benefits of being a dentist in the U.S. in 2013 is an estimated $142,000 annual salary, or $68.82 per hour, and better pay in metropolitan areas.

This annual ranking is based on the labor department's predictions of occupations that should have the greatest hiring demand from now until the year 2020.

A job's overall score was determined by such factors as employment growth, median salary, future job prospects, the unemployment rate, and the occupation's estimated stress level and work-life balance.

"Dental hygienist" landed at No. 10 on the list, behind software developers, physical therapists, and Web developers. Hygienists make a comfortable salary -- median salary of $69,280 in 2011 -- and most work part time, according to the magazine.

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