Dental Care Professionals Pay Findings from the Dental Business Trends survey

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1 BDA RESEARCH FINDINGS 8 December 2013 Dental Care Professionals Pay Findings from the Dental Business Trends survey British Dental Association 64 Wimpole Street London W1G 8YS

2 Author Henry Edwards, Research Analyst About the BDA The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. Copyright notice Copyright BDA 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without either the permission of the publishers or a license permitting restricted copying in the United Kingdom issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 9HE 2

3 Contents About the BDA 2 Key findings 4 1 Introduction 4 2 Background 5 3 About the survey 5 4 Minimum and living wages 5 5 Findings 6 6 Dental nurses 7 7 Dental hygienists 10 8 Dental therapists 11 9 Practice managers Discussion and implications 13 Appendix I Average pay table for trainee dental nurses ( /hour) 14 Appendix II Average pay table for qualified dental nurses ( /hour) 15 Appendix III Average pay table for dental hygienists ( /hour) 16 Appendix IV Average pay table for dental therapists ( /hour) 17 Appendix V Average pay table for practice managers ( /hour) 18 Appendix VI Average pay table for practice managers (annual salary) 19 References 20 Additional information 20 3

4 Key findings On average qualified dental nurses pay was 40 per cent higher than trainee dental nurses. Higher rates of dental nurse pay are more likely in the south east of England and London compared to the rest of the UK. Almost two-thirds practice owners gave their dental nurses receive a pay rise. On average, dental nurses who that received pay rise in the last 12 months received a pay rise of four per cent. On average respondents reported that dental hygienists were paid just over 29 per hour and dental therapists were paid just over 28 per hour. 1 Introduction The BDA annually submits evidence to the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration to provide information on changes to the dental profession (BDA, 2013). This includes an annual survey of general dental practitioners in the UK, the Dental Business Trends Survey. The survey seeks to evaluate trends in dentistry and explore key policy issues. This summary report presents some of the findings from the 2013 Dental Business Trends Survey, specifically focusing on the rates of pay for dental care professionals. The information presented in this report should not be used to decide the wage rates of staff members. The report is merely presenting the findings of a survey about average pay. It is acknowledged that there is a wide variety of factors that influence levels of pay. The research undertaken was only able to capture some of these elements and acknowledges there are several factors that have not been included. For example, this report has made a distinction between a trainee and a qualified dental nurses, while other such variables such as, level of experience and competing opportunities have not been assessed. This report provides a general guide to help practice owners in their pay determinations. 4

5 2 Background Since 2001, the BDA has collected information on market pay rates for Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) from dentists working in general practice settings across the UK. This assists in understanding the DCP labour market and provides BDA members with information on national and regional average rates of pay. Past reports can be found on the BDA website 1. 3 About the survey A survey of BDA members working in general dental practice across the UK was undertaken in summer Members were selected using the BDA membership database CARE. The survey was conducted online using SurveyMonkey.. A total of 10,058 BDA members were surveyed, with 1,381 responding This provided a 13 per cent response rate. The findings reported here specifically relate to sections of the BTS answered by practice owners only. A total of 766 practice owners responded to the survey, with the vast majority of respondents coming from England. Almost three-quarters (73.8 per cent) of respondents were male and they had an average age of 50. Over two-fifths of respondents had a high NHS commitment ( per cent NHS patients), with one in five working exclusively with private patients. 4 Minimum and living wages It also is important to beware of wage regulations and recommendations. In this case we have provided information on the national minimum wage and the living wage rates which may also be of interest. Please find these in table 1 and table 2 below. Although the national minimum wage existed before 1998 it was formalized into statue with the national minimum wage act It is not linked to any inflation measure but is reviewed each year by the Low Pay Commission, who make recommendations to 1 BDA membership required 5

6 government about any change. Table 1 provides the current level of minimum wage in the UK. Table 1 National minimum wage Year Age 21 and over 18 to 20 Under Source: (www.gov.uk, 2013) The living wage developed from campaigns about the perceived low level of the national minimum wage. It is set at a level in which campaigners believe is the income required to live. Focus for this campaign has been led by the Living Wage foundation to assess minimum income standards. Due to the disparity between costs in London compared to the rest of the UK, there is a specific London living wage and a living wage for the rest of the UK. Table 2 provides the living wage for the UK and London set by the Living wage foundation. Table 2 Living wage /hour UK 7.65 London 8.80 Source: (Living wage foundation, 2013) 5 Findings The following sections provide the survey findings for dental care professional pay. The first section presents the findings for dental nurses, followed by hygienists, dental therapists and practice managers. A more detailed set of tables can be found in the appendices for each of the dental care professions. 6

7 6 Dental nurses Practice owners were asked how much they pay their dental nurses and to differentiate between trainee and qualified dental nurses 2. Table 3 shows the average level of pay for both trainee and qualified dental nurses. Table 3 Average pay for trainee dental nurses and qualified dental nurses NHS commitment Trainee dental nurse: average pay ( /h) Qualified dental nurse: average pay ( /h) Mean N Mean N % NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know UK Table 3 shows that, on average, trainee dental nurses were paid 6.98 per hour. Qualified dental nurse were paid 9.98, over 40 per cent more. There is some variation by NHS commitment. On average those with a low NHS commitment paid their dental nurses a lower hourly rate that those with a high NHS commitment. There was also some regional variation with higher rates of pay for both qualified and trainee dental nurse in southeast England and London compared with the rest of the UK (Figure 1). 2 National Diploma in Dental Nursing 7

8 Figure 1 Regional average hourly rates of pay for qualified and trainee dental nurses 8

9 Practice owners were then asked if they had changed the rate of pay for their dental nurses in the past 12 months. Table 4 shows the proportion of participants that changed the rate of pay for their dental nurses. Table 4 Have you changed the rate of pay for your dental nurse/s in the past 12 months? NHS commitment Increased their rate of pay Decreased their rate of pay Stayed the same Total % Base N % NHS 63.3% 1.3% 35.4% 100.0% % NHS 54.9% 2.0% 43.1% 100.0% % NHS 57.7% 1.5% 40.8% 100.0% 267 Don't know 28.6% % 100.0% 7 UK 59.2% 1.5% 39.3% 100.0% 687 Almost two-thirds of practice owners had increased the rate of pay for their dental nurse/s over the past 12 months. Just over a third of respondents had kept their dental nurse pay the same with about one per cent decreasing dental nurse pay. Nurses who worked in practices with a high NHS commitment were more likely to have received a pay rise. Respondents who had either increased or decreased the rate of pay for their dental nurse/s were asked for the percentage change in pay. Table 5 Average percentage increase in the rate of pay for dental nurses NHS commitment Mean N Std. Deviation % NHS 4.37% % NHS 3.46% % NHS 3.65% Don't know 3.50% UK 3.95% Table 5 shows that among respondents who said that they had increased dental nurse pay, they made an average increase of almost 4 per cent. There was some variation by 9

10 NHS commitment with those respondents with higher NHS commitments providing slightly higher pay rises that those with lower NHS commitment. 7 Dental hygienists Practice owners were asked if they employ a dental hygienist in their practice. Almost two-thirds (63.5 per cent) of practice owners employed a dental hygienist across the UK. Practices with a high NHS commitment were less likely to employ a dental hygienist compared to practices with a low NHS commitment. Practice owners were then asked how much they pay their dental hygienists. Table 6 shows the average hourly rate of pay. Although we asked for information about employed dental hygienists, respondents may have given information on pay for those who are self-employed. Table 6 On average how much do you pay the hygienist you employ? NHS commitment Mean Std. Deviation N % NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know UK On average participants paid their dental hygienists just under 30 per hour. For a 35 hour per week employee this would be a salary of 54,600. Similar to the likelihood of a participant employing a dental hygienist, there was some variation in the average pay according to their level of NHS commitment. Those participants with a low NHS commitment paid their dental hygienists on average almost 30 per hour, compared to those with a high NHS commitment who on average paid their dental hygienists just over 27 per hour. The majority of participants had not changed the rate of pay for their dental hygienists in the last 12 months. 10

11 Table 7 Average percentage of pay change for dental hygienists Mean Std. Deviation N % NHS 4.15% NHS 25-74% NHS 3.93% commitment 0-24% NHS 4.10% Don't know 4.00% UK 4.08% Just over one-third of participants stated that they had increased the rate of pay and four individuals stated they had decreased pay. Table 7 shows the average percentage increase in pay provided. On average those dental hygienists that were given an increase in pay were given an increase of just over four per cent. 8 Dental therapists Practice owners were asked if they employ a dental therapist in their practice. One in five (20.6 per cent) stated that they employed a dental therapist across the UK. Practices with a higher NHS commitment were more likely to employ a dental therapist compared to practices with a low NHS commitment. Practice owners were then asked how much they pay their dental therapists. Table 8 shows the average hourly rate.. Table 8 Average pay for dental therapists Mean N Std. Deviation % NHS NHS 25-74% NHS commitment 0-24% NHS Don't know UK On average, participants paid their dental therapists about 28 per hour. On average dental therapists working in practices with a low NHS commitment receive a higher rate of pay compared to those who worked in a practice with a high NHS commitment. 11

12 Participants were asked if they had changed the rate of pay for their dental therapists in the past 12 months. The majority (70.6 per cent) of participants had not changed the rate of pay. Just over a quarter (26.6 per cent) of participants stated that they had increased the rate of pay for their dental therapists. Table 9 shows the average percentage increase in pay provided.to those that saw an increase. Table 9 Average change in pay for dental therapists NHS commitment Mean N Std. Deviation % NHS 6.33% % NHS 6.43% % NHS 5.86% UK 6.17% On average those dental therapists that were given an increase in pay were given an increase of just over six per cent. 9 Practice managers Practice owners were asked if they employ a practice manager in their practice. Almost two-thirds (62.0 per cent) of practice owners employed a practice manager across the UK. There was little variation by NHS commitment in the likelihood of practice employing a practice manager. Practice owners were then asked how much they pay their practice managers. Due to the nature of practice managers employment, participants could provide either an hourly rate or annual salary. Participants were evenly split in either providing a hourly rate or a salary. Table 10 shows the average hourly rate participants paid their practice managers and Table 11 provides the average annual salary. 12

13 Table 10 Average hourly rate for practice managers Mean N Std. Deviation % NHS NHS 25-74% NHS commitment 0-24% NHS Don't know UK On average participants paid their practice manager just under 14 per hour. Practice managers working in practice with a low NHS commitment were more likely to receive a higher hourly rate compared to those who work in a practice with a high NHS commitment. Table 11 Average salary for practice managers Mean N Std. Deviation % NHS 23, ,880 NHS commitment 25-74% NHS 25, , % NHS 24, ,219 Don't know 23, UK 24, ,935 Table 11 shows that practice managers who receive a salary on average receive just over 24,000 per annum. Those with the highest NHS commitment were more likely to have a lower salary compared to those with lower NHS commitment. 11 Discussion and implications As expected, pay is higher than those found in the 2010 report. Regional variation is a major contributing factor in the differentiation in wage rates nationally. Regional breakdowns are given in the appendices. The level at which you set wages is an important decision for any small business. Any decisions made should be done with careful consideration not only of market rates and the individual position, but consideration for the economic conditions, practice profitability and future practice development 13

14 Appendix I Average pay table for trainee dental nurses ( /hour) Mean Std. N Deviation Country England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Regions of England East midlands East of England London North east North west South east South west West midlands Yorkshire Practice size (no. of dentists ) Practice NHS commitment Practice configuration 0% NHS % NHS % NHS %NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know Limited company Limited liability partnership Partnership agreement Sole trader with associates Sole trader without associates Expense sharing agreement Other UK

15 Appendix II Average pay table for qualified dental nurses ( /hour) Mean Std. N Deviation Country England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Regions of East midlands England East of England London North east North west South east South west West midlands Yorkshire Practice size (no. of dentists) Practice configuration Practice NHS commitment % NHS % NHS % NHS %NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know Limited company Limited liability partnership Partnership agreement Sole trader with associates Sole trader without associates Expense sharing agreement Other UK

16 Appendix III Average pay table for dental hygienists ( /hour) Mean Std. N Deviation Country England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Regions of East midlands England East of England London North east North west South east South west West midlands Yorkshire Practice size (no. of dentists ) Practice configuration Practice NHS commitment % NHS % NHS % NHS %NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know Limited company Limited liability partnership Partnership agreement Sole trader with associates Sole trader without associates Expense sharing agreement Other UK

17 Appendix IV Average pay table for dental therapists ( /hour) Mean Std. Deviation N Country England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Regions of England East midlands East of England London North east North west South east South west West midlands Yorkshire Practice size (no. of dentists ) Practice NHS commitment Practice configuration % NHS % NHS % NHS %NHS % NHS % NHS Limited company Limited liability partnership Partnership agreement Sole trader with associates Sole trader without associates Expense sharing agreement Other UK

18 Appendix V Average pay table for practice managers ( /hour) Mean Std. Deviation N Country England Wales Northern Ireland Scotland Regions of England East midlands East of England London North east North west South east South west West midlands Yorkshire Practice size (no. of dentists ) Practice configuration % NHS % NHS % NHS %NHS % NHS % NHS Don't know Practice NHS Limited company commitment Limited liability partnership Partnership agreement Sole trader with associates Sole trader without associates Expense sharing agreement Other UK

19 Appendix VI Average pay table for practice managers (annual salary) Mean Std. Deviation N Country England 25,007 8, Wales 25,846 9, Northern Ireland 26,333 10,211 6 Scotland 25,861 7, Regions of England East midlands 25,180 8, East of England 25,658 7, London 29,780 12, North east 27,286 10,515 7 North west 21,894 7, South east 27,465 9, South west 22,426 7, West midlands 26,125 7, Yorkshire 22,104 7, Practice size (no. of dentists ) ,033 8, ,575 7, ,170 7, ,667 8, ,153 8, NHS commitment 0% NHS 25,105 10, % NHS 25,042 7, % NHS 29,688 10, %NHS 28,112 6, % NHS 24,430 7, % NHS 18,594 7,201 9 Don't know 24,000 5,657 2 Practice Limited company 26,669 9, configuration Limited liability partnership 29,625 8,879 8 Partnership agreement 25,841 8, Sole trader with associates 24,623 7, Sole trader without associates 18,107 10, Expense sharing agreement 25,645 6, Other 25,617 12,805 6 UK 24,116 9,

20 References BDA (2013) Current DDRB evidence, BDA (2013) Business Trends Survey, BDA (2010) DCP Pay Survey, Department of Business Innovation and Skill (2013) Minimum Wage, Available at: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates [Accessed on 10/11/2013] Living Wage Foundation (2013) Living Wage, Available at: [Accessed on 10/11/2013] Additional information British Dental Association 64 Wimpole Street London W1G 8YS Telephone: +44 (0) web: 20

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