career: Dentistry

What's it all about

Dentistry falls under medicine in many ways, so it’s easy to think you’ll need a degree to work in this industry. However, like medicine, unless you want to be an actual dentist there are many ways work in the industry without going to university.

Dental hygienists, assistants and the admin team (receptionists) for example don’t require a degree and it is possible to gain a full time position through on the job training.

Although the dentist is the one who does most of the treatment and diagnostics, you could still play a key part in the patients process. Taking x-rays, cleaning instruments and helping to sooth nervous clients will all be part of your job role.

What could I be doing 

What could I be doing

  • Receptionist
  • Dental hygienist
  • Finance administrator
  • Customer service
  • Human resources

Routes in

To be a dental hygienist or nurse, you won’t need a degree. However, you will need extensive training, The good news is that this can be done on the job. While working and studying, you’l learn about hygiene, safety, patient care as well as the more technical, scientific sides to the job.

You can even do an apprenticeship in dental nursing. This means working on the job as a full time employee while also learning and gaining qualifications you need to launch your career. By the end of the apprenticeship you’ll have a Level 2 diploma recognised by employers and – most importantly – you won’t be in any debt. Instead, you’ll have been earning money while those who are studying at university have little experience in an actually professional working environment.

What skills will I need 

What skills will I need

  • Team work
  • Organisation
  • Friendly
  • People skills
  • Tact
  • Interest in biology
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Accurancy

Been there, done that

We’re still on the hunt for a fabulous case study to show us how it’s done. Are you #DoingItWithoutADegree in this field? Then get in touch by emailing hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out how you can inspire our ambitious school leavers.


Expert opinion

Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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