Many dental positions at state hospitals and correction facilities go unfilled, including one position at a prison in Muskegon that has been posted since 2014, due to their lower salaries when compared with those in the private sector.
The commission, which oversees the state's workforce, voted December 11 to establish a $5,000 bonus for newly hired dentists who complete their yearlong probationary periods. This new bonus brings the hiring bonus to $10,000 because state-employed dentists already get $5,000 signing bonuses. The commission began giving signing bonuses in 2005.
Currently, the state has 12 permanent full-time and three permanent part-time dental position openings. One has been posted since 2014, and three others have been posted since 2016. All four of those positions are at correctional facilities.
The positions' pay range is between $38 and $60 per hour. The average salary of a full-time dentist in private practice is $150,000 per year.
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