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Dentists diagnose, treat, prevent and control diseases of the teeth, gum, mouth and jaws.

Also Known As


NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 3113: Dentists

2006 NOC-S

  • D013: Dentists

2011 NOC

  • 3113: Dentists

2016 NOC

  • 3113: Dentists

2021 NOC

  • 31110: Dentists

2023 OaSIS

  • 31110.01: Dentists, General
Updated Dec 19, 2016

In general, dentists:

  • advise patients about oral health care to promote good dental health
  • restore the function and look of damaged teeth
  • remove teeth when needed
  • replace teeth with fixed or removable devices (bridges, partial or full dentures, dental implants)
  • treat diseases of the mouth and adjacent areas
  • move teeth that are out of position
  • diagnose and treat gum disease
  • do surgery on the mouth or jaw and adjacent tissue
  • diagnose and manage disorders of the temporomandibular joint and facial area.

With further training, dentists may specialize in:

  • working with children (pediatric dentistry)
  • correcting facial and dental irregularities (orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics)
  • treating gum disease and bone loss (periodontics and gingival surgeries)
  • removing teeth and diseased tissue, repairing facial and oral trauma (oral and maxillofacial/orthognathic surgery)
  • diagnosing and managing diseases and conditions that affect the mouth and adjacent structures (oral medicine and pathology)
  • preserving diseased teeth through root canals (endodontics)
  • promoting dental health through organized community efforts (public health)
  • restoring natural teeth and replacing missing teeth to improve look and function (prosthodontics)
  • taking and interpreting related x-rays (oral and maxillofacial radiology)
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Dentists usually work regular weekday hours but may work some weekends and evenings. They must sometimes respond to emergencies after hours.

Dentists use delicate hand tools and power-driven precision instruments. They must wear safety glasses, masks and gloves. They must use proper techniques to prevent and control infection. When taking x-rays and using some materials, they must follow safety guidelines.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.


2006 NOC: 3113

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information gathered from examining patients' teeth, gums and surrounding tissue to design bridgework, fit dentures and provide appliances to correct abnormal positioning of the teeth and jaws


Interest in precision working with dental and surgical instruments


Interest in mentoring patients by instructing them on oral hygiene to prevent dental problems

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists need to possess:

  • good health
  • good eyesight
  • a delicate touch
  • mechanical aptitude and problem-solving skills
  • fine motor skills
  • good people skills (an ability to communicate effectively and put people at ease)
  • an ability to understand and attend to different ages and types of people
  • interest in physiology and pathology of the human body.

They should enjoy finding creative solutions to problems, doing precise work with tools and equipment, and helping people.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For


2016 NOC: 3113

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 39 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 26, 2021 and Apr 10, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Dental plan
Certificates, Licences, Memberships, and Courses : National Dental Examining Board of Canada Certification
Financial benefits: Bonus
Tasks: Diagnose disease, injury and decay and plan appropriate treatment
Tasks: Restore, extract and replace diseased and decayed teeth
Tasks: Examine patients' teeth, gums and surrounding tissue
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Perform oral surgery, periodontal surgery and other treatments
Health benefits: Health care plan
Tasks: Perform oral surgery, periodontal surgery and other treatments
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary

The minimum educational requirement is 2 years in a bachelor of science program and then a 4-year undergraduate program in Doctor of Dental Surgery, or Doctor of Dental Medicine.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

University of Alberta

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.


Dentists evaluate, diagnose and treat (surgically or non surgically) diseases, disorders and conditions of the mouth (teeth, gums and other supporting structures), the maxillofacial area (upper and lower jaws and joints) and the adjacent and associated structures of the head and neck to maintain and improve a person’s physical, psychological and social health.


Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Dentists Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta (CDSA) is mandatory. Only registered members may provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. This includes those who:

  • Meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public
  • Teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession
  • Supervise registered members
  • Are students who provide services to the public
  • Call themselves dentists

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Dentist.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Dentists may begin private (solo) practice right after they graduate. Partnerships with established dentists and group practices are becoming more popular. Some dentists work for government health services or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Career options outside of dental practice include working as dental educators, researchers or administrators.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3113: Dentists occupational group, 98.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3113: Dentists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 4.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 110 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.


2016 NOC: 3113
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3113 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $184.62 $70.35 $42.74
Overall $20.00 $221.54 $86.79 $42.74
Top $26.71 $336.54 $124.94 $55.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Alberta Dental Association and College website:

Association of Prosthodontists of Canada (APC) website:

Canadian Academy of Endodontics (ACE) website: 

Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (CAPD) website:

Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP) website:

Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics (CARDP) website:

Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (CAOMS) website:

Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry (CAPHD) website:

Canadian Dental Association (CDA) website:

Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CAO) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 15, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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