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The Salary of Dentists vs. Pilots

by Terri Williams

Most dentists and pilots earn annual salaries more than double the $45,790 earned by the average U.S. worker. In fact, some dentists make more than quadruple the national average. While the specialties of pilots and dentists determine how much money they make, dentists make much more than pilots, and the lowest-paying dentistry specialty pays more than the highest pilot salary.

Salaries of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons earned the fourth-highest salary in the country. According to May 2012 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned a mean -- or average -- annual wage of $216,440, and a median annual wage above $187,199, meaning that half made more than that and half made less. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons earned the highest salaries working in offices of physicians and dentists, making $230,350 and $226,280, respectively. While the BLS doesn't provide specific dollar amounts for their income by state, it reports the highest-paying states as Washington and Utah, with annual salaries above $187,199.

Salaries of Orthodontists

Orthodontists earned an annual mean wage of $186,320 and a median annual wage of $103,070, according to May 2012 salary data from the BLS. They earned the highest salaries working in the offices of physicians at $200,010. Orthodontists earned the second-highest wages -- $187,010 – working in the offices of dentists. The BLS reports that Wisconsin and Minnesota paid the highest wages, both above $187,199.

Salaries of General Dentists

May 2012 salary data from the BLS indicates that general dentists earned a mean annual wage of $163,240, and a median annual salary of $145,240. They earned the highest salaries working in the offices of dentists, with annual mean wages of $166,280. The second highest-paying salaries were in offices of other health practitioners, at $154,840. California was the highest-paying state, with $140,620, followed by New York, with $156,480.

Airline Pilots

Airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers earned an annual mean wage of $128,760. They earned a median wage of $114,200. The scheduled air transportation industry was the highest-paying employer, with a mean annual wage of $130,410, and was also the largest employer. Machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers were the second top-paying employers, at $108,330. The state of New York paid the highest salary to airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers, with an annual mean wage of $164,610, followed by Hawaii, with $153,240.

Salaries of Airline Pilots

Airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers earned an annual mean wage of $128,760 and a median wage of $114,200. The scheduled air transportation industry was the highest-paying employer, with a mean annual wage of $130,410, and also the largest employer. Machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers were the second top-paying employers, at $108,330. The state of New York paid the highest salary to airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers, with an annual mean wage of $164,610, followed by Hawaii, at $153,240.

Salaries of Commercial Pilots

Commercial pilots -- who fly crop dusters, helicopters and air ambulances -- earned a mean annual wage of $80,140 and a median annual wage of $73,280. The residential building construction industry paid the highest salaries, at $134,660, followed by wired telecommunications carriers, who paid an annual mean wage of $108,190. The top-paying state for commercial pilots was Georgia, at $105,030, followed by Minnesota, at $101,210.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo Credits

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