Please note: This list is for your informational use and not intended to replace the advice of professional advisors and specialists, including, but not limited to, attorneys and certified public accountants.

General Requirements

  • DDS or DMD degree
  • Completion of a postdoctorate program in orthodontics
  • State dental license
  • Résumé/CV, cover letter, references or letters of recommendation, recent publications, teaching philosophy
  • Employment agreement
  • Insurance – malpractice, life, health, long-term disability


  • Multiple tracks and pathways including clinical or tenure-track, cleft and craniofacial, orthodontic faculty, program director, or chair
  • May be full-time, part-time, or voluntary

Financial Risk

  • Low financial risk to become a paid employee
  • Not responsible for overhead and operating costs
  • Requires little to no upfront investment
  • Financing is not necessary
  • Opportunity to decrease or maintain personal debt
  • High job security for tenured faculty

Income and Other Compensation

  • Fixed and/or variable income based on pay structure
  • May receive income on an annual or per-section basis
  • Potential to receive significant start-up funds (particularly tenure track faculty) to launch a research career and increase success with future grant submissions
  • Income potential is generally lower compared to practice ownership and full-time associate opportunities (may not apply for less than full-time appointments)
  • May receive benefits such as vacation and sick leave, health insurance, life insurance, disability, retirement plan, professional dues, continuing education reimbursement, etc. (excludes most part-time faculty positions)
  • May deduct business expenses or have some expenses paid by the institution
  • Income, social security, and Medicare taxes withheld

Practice Operations

  • Requires clinical or didactic teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities
  • May have little to no autonomy and control over administrative decisions
  • Must be able to balance multiple priorities and competitive nature of academic research
  • Limited interaction with patients
  • May spend majority of time lecturing, writing, and reviewing literature
  • May have limited input in determining tasks, work hours, or effort distribution

Learning Development Opportunities

  • Opportunity to obtain clinical, research, and leadership experience, as well as develop future generations of academic and practicing orthodontic professionals
  • Offers learning and professional growth opportunities
  • Potential to collaborate with colleagues on research and/or create innovations in orthodontics

Legal Considerations

  • Must understand and comply with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and requirements related to higher education law and other laws pertinent to an academic setting
  • Covered by a number of federal and state employment and labor laws

Contractual Considerations

  • Often includes an employment agreement outlining basic terms, legal classification, general duties, compensation, benefits, policies, and other conditions
  • May have limited ownership of scholarly activities
  • Employer may or may not be receptive to modifications or provisions to the employment agreement

Work Life Considerations

  • Can be limited due to the availability of academic opportunities and locations of orthodontic residency programs
  • Will have limited flexibility to set work hours
  • Often includes paid vacation and time allowances to attend professional meetings
  • May allow autonomy to work in private practice or within the program’s clinic (mostly for part-time faculty and can vary by institution)

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