Orthodontist Salary

Video Series; Healthcare Occupations and Salary

An orthodontist salary is calculated by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics from a variety of sources. Orthodontists work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics and schools. Earnings vary depending on the location and the setting. The assumption was made that the Orthodontists reflected here were working an average of 40 hours per week with a total of 2080 hours per year. Orthodontist are a very specialized type of dentist. As a specialist they earn more than the average dentist.

Orthodontists work with children and adults to straighten teeth and improve the alignment of teeth.  Braces, retainers, and headgear are their stock in trade.

Orthodontists work with children and adults to straighten teeth and improve the alignment of teeth.  Braces, retainers, and headgear are their stock in trade. 

Median Hourly & Annual Data Hourly

Hourly Wage






Annual Wage












On an hourly basis the average Orthodontist salary is $71.00 per hour. The lowest 10% earn less than $38 per hour while the upper 10% earn more than $128 per hour. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average.


On an annual basis the median salary is greater than $147,000 The lowest 10% earn $78,000 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $266,000 per year.   Factors that affect the rate of compensation include hours worked and the fees charged for services. 

Lowest and Highest Orthodontist Salary

The lowest paid earn less than $78,000 annually while the highest paid earn over $300,000 per year.  

Top 5 States

The top paying states are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, and Arizona.  All 5 states report earnings greater than $188,000 for the highest paid orthodontists.

Top 5 Metropolitan Areas

The best Cities or Metropolitan areas are Phoenix AZ, New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Atlanta GA, and Newark NJ.  The highest reported salary is in Phoenix and is over $240,000 per year.  Newark NJ is the lowest at approximately $220,000 per year.

Click here to see Orthodontists salary for all 50 states

Other Industries that Employ Orthodontists

Universities, county, state and federal agencies employ orthodontists. A small number serve in the U.S. military. 

Employment Data

According to the US Department of Labor nationally there are over 5500 practicing in the U.S.  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)  has over 17,000 members practicing in the U.S., Canada, and worldwide.  It may be assumed that some members of the AAO are retired or not practicing but remain active members in their profession.

Where They Work

Of all the Orthodontists employed in the United States 5300 of the them work in a dental clinic or office.  A very small number work in hospitals and other physicians offices.  

Private Practice vs. Employment

The higher Orthodontist salaries are in private practice. A significant difference is listed between employed surgeons vs. private practice. The BLS lists the highest salary as $240,000 per year while other salary sites online say the highest earnings are over $300,000 per year.


Fringe benefits will vary depending on business size and other factors. A typical physicians or dental practice will employ from 1 to 50 employees depending on the size of the group.  In general larger companies may offer better benefits.  A typical benefits package is worth approximately $20,000 if you are earning $100,000 per year.