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Bachelor of Oral Health graduates are equipped with the knowledge and abilities to register and practice as dental hygienists and oral health promoters. Students will not only engage the theoretical principles behind areas such as human bioscience, periodontology and dentistry, but are also granted the opportunity to practically implement this knowledge at the University of Newcastleâ€™s professionally supervised University of Newcastleâ€™s 16 chair oral health clinic.
Graduates are valued for their ability to inform communities of the benefits of sound oral health, practically implement their skills in a clinical setting, and develop community oral health programs. In addition to employment opportunities in private and clinical practice, graduates will also have the opportunity to work as clinical teachers in the tertiary sector, in oral health research and in oral health administration.
This is a nationally accredited degree, and allows the opportunity for graduates to practice anywhere in Australia. Graduates are eligible to register with the Dental Board of Australia to work in private practice or a range of other clinical settings.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of post-graduate study options available. Post-graduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the post-graduate study options following the Bachelor of Oral Health include:
After completing a degree there are a broad range of post graduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The Bachelor of Oral Health will not qualify a student to become a Dentist but will allow graduates to work closely with practitioners in clinics and perform a range of specialist tasks. The sample job titles listed include a range of opportunities for graduates at degree, honours and postgraduate study levels and may vary based experience.
The Bachelor of Oral Health can be a diverse degree with career options outside the typical Dentistry path. This list can reveal sample jobs and careers related to oral health, where skills learnt in this program can become a valubale asset in other fields.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Bachelor of Oral Health graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this degree. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- ACT Health (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Dental Health Services Victoria (Australia)
- Dental Health Services Western Australia (Australia)
- Eastern Health (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Northern Health (Australia)
- NT Health (Australia)
- Pulse Health Ltd. (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association (Australia)
- Australian Dental Association (Australia)
- Australian Dental Prosthetists Association (Australia)
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Bachelor of Oral Health graduates will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
- The ability to promote oral health in the contexts of general health and population health,
- A provision of oral health education to individual patients, health professionals and the wider community,
- A provision of preventive oral health care to individuals,
- An education of the future of oral health practitioners,
- The ability to develop and administer oral health programs, and undertake research in oral health care.