U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Dentist and Dental Hygienist Careers

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Commissioned Corps Compensation and Examples

Compensation varies depending on factors such as grade/rank, years of training and experience (T&E) in your profession, base-pay entry date, specialty training received, geographic location of the duty station, and whether or not the employee has a spouse and/or children. Please use the pay tables at http://www.dod.mil/militarypay/index.html Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov along with the zip code of the duty station you are considering and the paycheck examples at the bottom of this webpage to estimate pay.
 
Dentists: The minimum starting pay grade/rank for a dentist in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps is 0-3 or Lieutenant. Dental graduates receive eight years of T&E credit for education leading to the DDS or DMD degree regardless of how many years it actually took to obtain that degree.

Dental Hygienists: The minimum starting pay grade/rank for a dental hygienist in the PHS Commissioned Corps is O-2 or Lieutenant Junior Grade. Dental Hygiene graduates receive four years of T&E credit for education leading to his or her bachelor's degree regardless of how many years it actually took to obtain that degree.

  • Additional T&E credit is also earned for time spent after receipt of the qualifying degree in degree-related activities.
  • Bachelor's degree can be in any major.

Bonuses

All dentists are eligible for both contractual, special-pay bonuses and monthly, special-pay bonuses, which include:

  • Accession Bonus (Signing Bonus) — Reporting dentists receive  $37,500 to start and $37,500 at the 25th month for a total of $75,000 with a four-year agreement.
  • Variable Special Pay (VSP) — Paid monthly, this special pay ranges from $3,000 to $12,000 annually based on years of creditable service.
  • Board Certified Pay (BCP) for Dental Specialists — Also paid monthly, this pay ranges from $2,500 to $6,000 annually based on years of creditable service.
  • Additional Special Pay (ASP) — Based on a one year contract with annual pay ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 based on years of creditable service.
  • Multi-year Retention Bonus (MRB) for Board Eligible Specialists or Advanced General Practice Residents (AGPR) — Depending on the dental officer's specialty training and length of new contracts, annual pay ranges from $13,000 to $50,000.
  • Incentive Special Pay (ISP) – (Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons Only) -- $30,000 bonus based on a one year contract.

All contractual bonuses are lump sum payments. ASP and MRB are paid in annual installments and all special pays are taxable income.

At this time, there are no bonuses for dental hygienists.

Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)

Basic Allowance for Subsistence is a non-taxable, monthly allowance payable to all officers at the same rate regardless of rank.  More> Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

  • Officers:   $202.76/month

Basic Allowances for Housing (BAH)

For officers stationed within the Continental United States (CONUS), including Alaska, BAH is a monthly allowance payable to all officers that provides compensation for housing rental, renter's insurance and utilities. For more detailed information and to find out your possible monthly allowance in your state, please go to Basic Allowance for Housing Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , and search by zip code.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)

Another form of allowance, COLA, is a non-taxable, monthly allowance for duty stations in higher cost areas. The majority of the locations eligible for this allowance are located overseas. Alaska is considered overseas and qualifies for COLA. The allowance is determined by the officer's permanent duty station zip code, grade and number of dependents. To do a rate query of COLA, click here Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .

Requirements

Applicants entering IHS through the US Public Health Service (USPHS) as a Commissioned Corps officer must meet the following requirements:

  • US Citizenship
  • Medical Physical
  • Minimum Two-Year Commitment
  • Must Be Under 44 at Time of Commission
  • Registered Hygienists: Bachelors Degree and Valid License From Any US State
  • Dentists: DDS or DMD and Valid License From Any US State

Pay Tables

To help better understand how the IHS determines employee compensation levels, we have provided several examples unique to each situation and based on a number of different factors. Please note that your compensation will be determined based on your own unique variables, including experience level, duty location and number of dependents.

  • Housing Allowance, COLA and Subsistence Allowance are non-taxable income.
  • Housing Allowance is determined by entering the zip code of the duty station, rank and number of dependents here Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .
  • Alaska is considered overseas and qualifies for COLA. To figure COLA, go to the Rate Query Pages Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov and enter location, rank, number of dependents and number of years of active service duty credit to date.
  • All examples below are figured with dependents.

Pay Tables Examples for Commissioned Officers:

ESTIMATED AVERAGE PAY FOR A DENTIST AT CLAREMORE, OK:
First Four Years:  $104,043.93. If IHSLRP is received, add $24,000 = $128,043.93.

New Dentist Commissioned Officer
Claremore, OK
Rank O-3 (less than two  years)* 1st year 2nd year (Estimated 3% COLA)
Base Pay $3,660.60 $3,770.42
Variable Special Pay $250.00 $250.00
#Housing Allowance (74017) $1419.00 $1461.57
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $229.73
MONTHLY TOTAL: $5,552.64
X 12 months
$66,631.68
$5,711.72
X 12 months
$68,540.64
Additional Special Pay (one-year contract) +$10,000.00 +$10,000.00
SUB TOTAL: $76,631.68 $78,540.64
Ascension Bonus
(four-year contract)
+$37,500.00 +$0
TOTAL: $114,131.68 $78,540.64

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

New Dentist Commissioned Officer
Claremore, OK
Rank O-3 (over two years)* 3rd  year
(Estimated with 3% COLA)
4th year
(Estimated with 3% COLA)
Base Pay $4,402.63 $4,894.65
Variable Special Pay $250.00 $583.33
#Housing Allowance (74017) $1505.42 $1550.58
#Subsistence Allowance $236.62 $243.72
MONTHLY TOTAL: $6,394.67
X 12 months
$76,736.04
$7,272.28
X 12 months
$87,267.36
Additional Special Pay (one-year contract) +$10,000.00 +$12,000.00
SUB TOTAL: $86,736.04 $99,267.36
Ascension Bonus
(four-year contract)
+$37,500.00 +$0
TOTAL: $124,236.04 $99,267.36

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

A Dentist Commissioned Officer Today
with Experience and Creditable Service.
Claremore, OK
Rank O-4 (*five years) O-5 (*10 years)
Base Pay $5,213.10 $6,567.60
Variable Special Pay $583.33 $1,000.00
#Housing Allowance (74017) $1,641.00 $1,797.00
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $223.04
MONTHLY TOTAL: $7,660.47
X 12 months
$91,925.64
$9,587.64
X 12 months
$115,051.68
Additional Special Pay +$12,000.00 +$15,000.00
WITHOUT AGPR SUB TOTAL: $103,925.64 $130,051.68
If AGPR w/ four-year contract,
then annual bonus $40K
+$40,000.00 +$40,000.00
TOTAL: $143,925.64 $170,051.68

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

ESTIMATED AVERAGE PAY FOR A DENTIST AT BETHEL, AK:
First Four Years:  $132,910.98.  If IHSLRP is received, add $24K = $156,910.98.

New Dentist Commissioned Officer
Bethel, AK
Rank O-3 (less than two  years)* 1st year 2nd year (Estimated 3% COLA)
Base Pay $3,660.60 $3,770.42
Variable Special Pay $250.00 $250.00
#Housing Allowance (99559) $2,250.00 $2,317.50
#COLA (two dependants) $1,469.00 $1,513.07
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $229.73
MONTHLY TOTAL: $7,852.64
X 12months
$94,231.68
$8,080.72
X 12 months
$96,968.64
Additional Special Pay (one-year contract) +$10,000.00 +$10,000.00
SUB TOTAL: $104,231.68 $106,968.64
Ascension Bonus
(four-year contract)
+$37,500.00 +$0
TOTAL: $141,731.68 $106,968.64

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

New Dentist Commissioned Officer
Bethel, AK
Rank O-3
(over two years)*
3rd  year (Estimated 3% COLA) 4th year (Estimated 3% COLA)
Base Pay $4,402.63 $4,894.65
Variable Special Pay $250.00 $583.33
#Housing Allowance (99559) $2,387.03 $2,458.64
#COLA (two dependants) $1,558.46 $1,605.22
#Subsistence Allowance $236.62 $243.72
MONTHLY TOTAL: $8,834.74
X 12 months
$106,016.88
$9,785.56
X 12 months
$117,426.72
Additional Special Pay (one-year contract) +$10,000.00 +$12,000.00
SUB TOTAL: $116,016.88 $129,426.72
Ascension Bonus
(four-year contract)
+$37,500.00 +$0
TOTAL: $153,516.88 $129,426.72

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

A Dentist Commissioned Officer
with Experience and Creditable Service Today.
 Bethel, AK
Rank O-4 (*five years) O-5 (*10 years)
Base Pay $5,213.10 $6,567.60
Variable Special Pay $583.33 $1,000.00
#Housing Allowance (99559) $2,664.00 $2,958.00
#COLA (two dependants) $1,794.00 $2,028.00
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $223.04
MONTHLY TOTAL: $10,477.47
X 12 months
$125,729.64
$12,776.64
X 12 months
$153,319.68
Additional Special Pay +$12,000.00 +$15,000.00
WITHOUT AGPR SUB TOTAL: $137,729.64 $168,319.68
If AGPR w/ four-year contract,
then annual bonus $40K
+$40,000.00 +$40,000.00
TOTAL: $177,729.64 $208,319.68

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

New Dental Hygienist Commissioned Officer
Bethel, AK
Rank O-2
(less than two years)*
1st year 2nd year (3% cola-estimated)
Base Pay $3,162.90 $3,257.79
#Housing Allowance (99559) $1,836.00 $1,891.08
#COLA (two dependants) $1,308.66 $1,347.92
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $229.73
MONTHLY TOTAL: $6,530.60
X 12 months
$6,726.52
X 12 months
TOTAL: $78,367.20 $80,718.24

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

A Dental Hygienist Commissioned Officer
with Experience and Creditable Service Today.
Bethel, AK
Rank O-3 (*five years) O-4 (*10 years)
Base Pay $4,883.40 $6,230.10
#Housing Allowance (99559) $2,250.00 $2,664.00
#COLA (two dependants) $1,664.00 $1,950.00
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $223.04
MONTHLY TOTAL: $9,020.44
X 12 months
$11,067.14
X 12 months
TOTAL: $108,245.28 $132,805.68

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service


New Dental Hygienist Commissioned Officer
Ft. Defiance, AZ
Rank O-2 (less than two years)* 1st year 2nd year (3% cola-estimated)
Base Pay $3,162.90 $3,257.79
#Housing Allowance (86504) $1,230.00 $1,266.90
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $229.73
MONTHLY TOTAL: $4,615.94
X 12 months
$4,754.42
X 12 months
TOTAL: $55,391.28 $57,053.04

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

A Dental Hygienist Commissioned Officer
with Experience and Creditable Service Today.
Ft. Defiance, AZ
Rank O-3 (*5 years) O-4 (*10 years)
Base Pay $4,883.40 $6,230.10
#Housing Allowance (86504) $1,380.00 $1,566.00
#Subsistence Allowance $223.04 $223.04
MONTHLY TOTAL: $6,486.44
X 12 months
$8,019.14
X 12 months
TOTAL: $77,837.28 $96,229.68

# Non-Taxable Allowance
* Years of Commission Corps Service

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