The world of dentistry is not just for dentists and dental nurses; there are many other available paths into the world of dentistry and this guide provides information about how to become a dental hygienist in the U.S.
Dental hygiene is a profession with particular benefits; the average salary of a dental hygienist is far above the average salary for the U.S with some dental hygienists earning as much as $100,000 per year as their salary. No wonder so many people are now considering how to become a dental hygienist.
The information below provides details of the work of a qualified dental hygienist as well as outlining the qualifications you will require to become a dental hygienist and from which institutions these qualifications can be obtained; it details how many years to become a dental hygienist as well as how to from achieving these qualifications to becoming a qualified and practising dental hygienist. An important question for many considering a career in dental hygiene is how much does it cost to become a dental hygienist? This information answers that question whilst also looking at what you are likely to earn working as a dental hygienist in the U.S. as only the top hygienists will earn in the region of $100,000 per year.
The following information also provides some suggestions about other options available to you once you are a qualified dental hygienist as well as ways in which to further your dental career.
What Does A Dental Hygienist Do?
When considering how to become a dental hygienist, it is important to consider what a dental hygienist actually does to ensure that it is the right career choice for you. The role of a dental hygienist is in looking after the hygiene and overall cleanliness of a patient’s teeth, mouth and gums.
The work of a dental hygienist complements that of a dentist or dental operator and works with the patient to try and prevent future oral problems by working on the hygiene of the mouth. It may be that a dental hygienist can prevent the need for a patient to ever see a dentist through their preventative work. The work of a dental hygienist is quite broad within this remit of oral health and hygiene; however it can be placed on one of three categories of work:
- Providing oral hygiene health care to patients before they have a procedure undertaken at the dentist; or even before the need to have a procedure undertaken by the dentist
- Providing oral hygiene health care to patients during a dental procedure
- Providing oral hygiene care after a dental procedure
In reality this means that a dental hygienist is responsible for examining a patients mouth and teeth and identifying areas which may need improvements in oral hygiene; removing plaque and tartar deposits on a patient’s teeth thereby potentially reducing the risk of requiring further dental work and finally to look after the oral health of a patient after a dental procedure has been performed, such as ensuring that the mouth is kept clean to prevent infection at a procedure site.
What Qualifications Do You Need And How Long Will It Take?
To answer the question of how to become a dental hygienist, it is important to consider what qualifications needed and how long it take to acquire that qualification. A dental hygienist is a highly specialized role within the field of dentistry and requires at least four years of study to become qualified and accredited; here we look at the different ways in which you can become qualified as a dental hygienist and how to become a dental hygienist post qualification.
In order to become a qualified dental hygienist you must enter and pass a dental hygiene program which has been accredited by the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA); there are over three hundreds institutions now offering such courses. In order to enter a dental hygiene program, you must have a first degree in a relevant subject, such as a science including mathematics or a degree with a focus on dental health.
Another route to becoming a qualified dental hygienist is to take a degree over four years in dental hygiene. In order to be qualified to apply for this course, you must have a high school diploma relevant to the field of dental hygiene.
Further to passing either of these two courses which is a requirement across the whole of the U.S, each state requires that potential dental hygienists must also be licensed in the state within which they are to practice. This licensing of dental hygienists must take place every two years. There are different methods of licensing in different states; therefore the question of how to become a dental hygienist in California may have a different answer to how to become a dental hygienist in another state. It is worth checking what the different licensing arrangements are for each state before embarking on your dental hygiene career.
How Much Does A Dental Hygienist Earn?
It is worth bearing in mind how much does it cost to become a dental hygienist when looking at how to become a dental hygienist. With all the study required, it can be quite expensive; though a distance learning course can be a cheaper option for some. There are also a number of scholarships available to qualify to become a dental hygienist. It is important to know that you are studying for the right career or it could be a costly mistake.
However, if you have made the right career choice, being a dental hygienist can be extremely lucrative. Whilst the salary associated with being a dental hygienist does vary considerably, dependent on the type of work undertaken and the location in which that work takes place, a dental hygienist can earn up to around $100k per year; indeed one in every ten dental hygienists in the U.S make over $90k per year. It is also worth bearing in mind however when looking at how to become a dental hygienist that one in ten dental hygienists in the U.S. make around $45k per year.
Dental Hygienist Programs
A dental hygienist has become a popular career choice for many and it is easy to see why; there are many benefits to working as a dental hygienist and with dental hygiene becoming more accessible with more dental hygienist programs than ever. Dental hygienist online programs are available for those who need flexibility in their study arrangements.
A dental hygienist qualification can be obtained from one of the many accredited dental hygienist certification programs and it is prerequisite for work in this field. If you have never had experience working in the dentistry world; it is helpful if you at least undertook some work experience in this field to better understand the practice if you are unable to secure a job in this environment.
A dental hygienist is a highly skilled profession which takes up to four years to complete although there are some high quality dental hygienist 2 year programs available which offer intensive study arrangements. There is a lot of training to do to become a dental hygienist which is a highly specialized profession. However, dental hygienist programs can offer many benefits and rewards. It is often a dynamic and fast moving environment as well as being interesting and at times challenging.
Working as a dental hygienist means a long period of study and experience in the field; it is not possible to practice dental hygiene without completing the dental hygienist programs and exams. Some states have stricter regulations on becoming a dental hygienist than others and it is always a good idea to check out the regulations for the states you may wish to work for.
The American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) provides accredited courses which enable dental hygienists to practice. To work as a dental hygienist in America you must complete this course and pass an exam. These courses, known as dental hygienist programs are open to those students with a relevant first degree, such as a science related discipline. If this is your career choice, it is worth bearing in mind that there are also a number of first degrees which relate specifically to dental health and by doing this further study, it will expand your specialized knowledge of being a dental assistant.
For those without a first degree, the American Dental Hygienists Association accredit a four year degree program for you to qualify and work as a Dental Hygienist. This degree also allows entry in many other scientific fields.
Dental hygienists needs to be registered by the state and each state may have slightly different regulation governing the work of a dental hygienist and must be considered by those looking at dental hygienist jobs across America. Dental Hygienist must continue their training as they practice and must be assessed every two years.
What Will I Learn From Dental Hygienist Programs?
The dental hygienist programs are courses accredited by the bodies regulating dentists and other dental operators such as dental hygienists. Enrolment at courses for dental hygienists should be undertaken directly with the college or online institution. Dental hygienist programs can provide you with the theoretical instruction regarding how to work as a dental hygienist.
A dental hygienist is responsible for the oral health care of the dental patient. A dental hygienist provide a service to make sure that the teeth, mouth and gums are hygienic and that any hygiene problems do not cause future dental problems which may need treatment from a dentist or other dental professional. It will equip you with the necessary understanding and insight into the practice of dental hygiene to allow you to start your career in dental hygiene.
The theoretical instruction will be put in to practice both during the course as part of your practical learning and also as soon as you graduate once you start working in your own practice alongside your new dental team.
Once you have graduated and are working as a dental hygienist you will be working with patients and your dentist or dental operator to assess the oral health of your patients; you will be cleaning any tartar and plaque from their teeth as well as educating them about oral health care prevention methods. It is at this stage that you are putting your theory into practice.
Courses Available To Dental Hygienists
The dental hygienist programs are courses accredited by the bodies regulating dentists and other dental operators such as dental hygienists.
Advanced dental hygienist programs are available from a large number of institutes of education and are a good way to further your studies. This may because you would like to take an academic route with dental hygiene or even to work within dental hygiene product development. The salary for dental hygienists is often parallel to their level of qualification.
What Further Options Are Open For Graduates Of Dental Hygienist Programs?
With an anticipated increase of around 40% over the next few years, the market needs many more dental hygienists who should have been through accredited dental hygienist programs. After completing dental hygienist certification programs, a successful dental hygienist should find it comparatively easy to find a new role. This favorable position is expected to continue with a rise in the number of dentist and dental practices.
Should you have chosen to undertake an advanced dental hygiene practitioner program, there may be more opportunities available for you and this may only be the start of your dental career. It may be that you will lead a group of hygiene practitioners.
There is also a generous salary to be made in dental hygiene professions and therefore dental hygienist programs may make financial sense. There are opportunities for dental hygienists out there to earn in the region of $100k; and the lowest salary for dental hygienists is a healthy $44k. Dental hygienist programs can be expensive, so it is worth looking around at the cost of the dental hygienist programs as well as those which are best able to suit your needs. Distance learning courses provide a cheaper alternative to scheduled dental hygienist programs based on campus and are accredited in the same robust manner as colleges and universities.
Dental Hygienist Jobs
Dental hygienist jobs can be extremely rewarding and interesting and can provide a defined career path both for practitioners and academics. Being a dental hygienist is a highly esteemed profession and requires a high level of study and dedication. Indeed, a dental hygienist is amongst the top professionals in the field of dentistry and as such attracts one of the highest salaries. It is fair to say that the average salary for a dental hygienist is far from average with some dental hygienist salary reaching six figures based on an average 40 hour working week.
There are currently a lot of jobs for dental hygienist available due to the increase in respect for the work of this practitioner. It is expected the dental hygienist profession will continue to grow as the dentistry world and patients continues to recognize the importance of preventative oral health care.
The below information provides a succinct guide to the essentials of how to become a dental hygienist, including the qualification requirements for the role, the anticipated dental hygiene salary, the dental hygienist duties and the types of dental hygienist jobs available. This information should help you with your decision as to whether to consider a future and a dental hygienist and explains the steps necessary to achieve this ambition.
What Will My Job Entail If I Consider Dental Hygienist Jobs?
The dental hygienist duties are varied and interesting and as a dental hygienist you should have a leading role in managing preventative oral health in your dental practice.
Dental hygiene duties include, amongst others, the following specialized tasks:
- Educating patients about how to maintain their oral hygiene
- Helping patients to maintain their oral hygiene
- Undertakes preventative work and procedures on the mouth, teeth and gums such as cleaning and polishing and removal of calculus on the teeth
- Providing a supportive role to dentists by providing oral hygiene healthcare at all stages of procedures including pre, during and post oral hygiene healthcare.
Whilst dental hygienists are not responsible for spotting disease and illness in the mouth and gums, such as ulcers or cancers, as this responsibility lies with the dentist, a dental hygienist should provide a supportive roll and highlight any areas of concern to other staff for action. Dental hygienists will be trained in how to assess for disease or infection.
These tasks of a dental hygienist will usually be undertaken as part of a team of professionals including dentists, dental assistants and dental laboratory technicians however there are some other ways in which you can work as a dental hygienist.
In practice the dental hygienist in a dental practice or other environment will play a vital role in preventing oral health issues for dental patients. The dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar deposits through descaling and the dental hygienist will also polish teeth. Dental hygienists in some but not all states will be responsible for applying anesthetic ointments or other topical dental treatment should as fluoride and tooth sealant. It is worthwhile checking out what procedures may be performed by which professionals in the dental industry according to state of registration as this can be different across the U.S.
What Qualifications Are Required To Apply For Dental Hygienist Jobs?
Completing a dental hygiene program is a legal requirement if you wish to become a dental hygienist. The process is reasonably straight forward with either a four year course required to practice with a mix of course work, practical work and examinations or if you have a first degree in another subject you can take a two year course.
These courses are provided by a range of universities, colleges, institutions and online providers and the dental hygiene program is now easily accessible across the whole of the U.S. Dental Hygiene programs are only available to those with a high school diploma and for acceptance on a two year course, you need to have a first degree in a science related subject.
These courses and exams are provided under close supervision from the American Dental Hygienist Association and the Associations of Dentists in America.
There are also some advanced courses available for dental hygienist jobs which have also been accredited by the ADHA and the ADA. These courses are well worth considering if you want to advance in dental hygiene or to branch out from dental hygiene in a dental practice.
A dental hygienist also has to be licensed in the state within which they are operating. The licensing procedure is different in every state, however most licensing procedures involve a written and practical assessment before a practitioner can be licensed. It is usual for most states to request that this registration is renewed every two years.
What Are My Career Options If I Take A Dental Hygienist Role?
As previously noted, there is currently a demand for dental hygienists and there are many different fields in which you can work once you have been accredited. Most dental hygienists work in private dental practices; however there are a number of dental hygienist government jobs which may mean providing preventative oral health treatment and care in schools. It is also possible to work as a dental hygienist in the armed forces if you prefer more challenge.
Dental hygienist jobs may also be based in hospitals should you be undergoing a more serious dental procedure. Dental hygienist jobs may also be available in the community.
An accreditation in dental hygiene can also start your career in another direction such as teaching in dental hygiene schools, delivering training in dental hygiene or even working in industry taking a leading role in the development of dental hygiene products or in the sales workforce.
The job role of dental hygienist has a fantastic potential for success. Whilst there are many dental hygienist jobs on the job market at the moment; there are also many opportunities to make the job of dental hygienist your own and to excel at what you do.
Dental Hygienist Schools
Dental hygienist schools are some of the way that you can improve your profession in this industry. A dental hygienist career is a career that is exciting and dynamic and one that can be quite lucrative. The career is a professional career and those that wish to enter the field will need to have specialized education. Dental hygienist schools are designed to provide the education that is required to become a dental hygienist. It is important that anyone that enrolls in dental hygienist schooling enrolls in a school that is accredited.
Dental hygienist schools vary in types and time requirements. There are different program courses that students can enroll in and with each upgrade in education; the student is in a better position to earn a higher dollar salary. The salary can be quite attractive and as much as $90K a year depending on location, experience and education.
Schools for dental hygienist programsare time consuming and demanding. The training is intensive and depending on the type of course you take, could take years. There is everything from certificate program to the master’s degree, and each will require that you focus and have the skill and knowledge to enter the field.
Dental hygienist schools can be competitive. In fact, not everyone that enrolls will be granted entry. High school grades are considered and some require that you have a grade average of no less than a “C”. College emission scores are extremely important, as well.
Schools To Become A Dental Hygienist
To become a dental hygienist, programs are offered through public and private universities and colleges, and vocational career training schools throughout the US. Dental hygienist schools such as the Missouri Southern State University offer an associate of science degree in dental hygiene and a master of science program. Cypress College in California offers an associate degree in dental hygiene. University of Bridgeport and is the first school of dental hygiene in the world and offers a associate’s degree program, a bachelor’s degree program and a master’s degree program.
You want to choose dental hygienist schools that have an outstanding achievement. When you graduate and enter the field, where you received your training will be a great decision maker among employers. The dental hygienist schools must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and meet their requirements.
The coursework for and education as a dental hygienist includes:
Online Schools For Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienist online schools offer students that may not otherwise be able to take the courses due to daytime commitments. Online schools offer the opportunity to study and learn at their free time. Dental hygienist schools online do not require the student to attend a college campus, but the course is taken online in the student’s environment.
Online schools for dental hygienist include:
- Keiser University
- San Joaquin Valley College
- Penn Foster Career School
- Kaplan University
- Grand Canyon University
- The University of Liverpool
- Ashworth College
Dental hygiene online coursework include:
- Strategies of Instruction
- Advanced Clinical Concepts
Dental hygienist schools provide different levels of degrees and you will find that the length of time required to complete the school will depend on the program. There are certificate programs, as mentioned earlier, as well as associate and bachelor’s degree courses. With the bachelor’s degree, the dental hygienist is in a much better position when they enter the field as the career will be much more lucrative than if they enter with a certificate.
Upon graduation, students will be required to take the state exam which is administered by the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam. Students who pass the exam are then eligible to seek employment as a dental hygienist.
Dental hygienist schools will play an important part when it comes to the salary of the dental hygienist and so will the location that they seek employment and the advancement in the profession that they have. Those that work in big cities such as New York, New York or Chicago, Illinois will be offered a much higher salary. On average, however, you can expect a starting salary of up to $40 an hour.
If you are considering dental hygienist schools then definitely do your research and put a great amount of thought into the process. You want a school that is top-notch and will be impressive to the employer. Online courses, night courses and day campus courses are all options to receive your education that will take you into the profession.
Dental hygienist schools can be costly. Obtaining a two year or four-year degree requires a great deal of time and energy and the student’s focus must be strong. It may be tough to make ends meet and for those that find they are in this position, they might consider financial aid or a student loan. Look for a school that is accredited and one that will bring you the recognition and education you need to enter the career at top levels.
In conclusion, dental hygienist schools are time-consuming and demanding. The profession requires a great deal of training. The dental hygienist schools themselves are competitive and take years to complete. The dental hygienist is a rewarding career that gains a great deal of respect and can pay top dollar. In some major cities, dental hygienist receives as much as $90K annually. Grades are considered upon acceptance to the school as well as college emission exams. The education is tough through public universities, small private colleges and vocational career training schools throughout the US. Some of the universities are online which offers students that would not be able to attend a campus the ability to pursue their career. Dental hygienist schools can be expensive, but they’re often is financial aid, student loans and scholarships available. A dental hygienist is an excellent career for those that possess the skill and desire and have the commitment that is necessary to follow through in the program. There are a range of employment opportunities from dental offices to military bases.
How Hard Is Dental Hygienist School?
Many individuals question how hard the education of a dental hygienist is and the answer is that it is hard. There are different courses which involve a certificate program or an associate’s degree program, a bachelor’s degree program, and a master’s degree program. The short and long of it is that while it is comparable to any other degree, the coursework is much more challenging. Dental hygienist school associate degree programs are much more like a four-year college.
Entry To Dental Hygienist School
Dental hygienist school can be tough to get into. It is competitive and high school grades are very important. College emission scores are also very important. It must be said that although many schools will accept a student with a “C” average, they will not be the schools that will likely further your career when a potential employer looks at your educational background. Therefore, it is necessary to concentrate on getting into a school that is accredited and recognized as a leader in dental hygienist school programs.
Grades are also important because not everyone could get in. Only the best of the best are accepted, so anyone that would like to continue onto a career as a dental hygienist should begin to concentrate at a young age.
What To Look For In Dental Hygienist School
The choice of your school will be an important choice and you will want to choose wisely. It will demand a great deal of thought and consideration and you need to get all the facts and check out the school thoroughly.
As mentioned earlier you will need a high school diploma and your college entrance test scores. Many of the dental hygienist school programs may require that you have attended college for at least one year.
It is important that when you select a dental hygienist school that you select a school that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation requirements and meets their requirements.
Dental hygienist school programs require the student to pass many interesting courses which include:
Dental Hygienist School Online
Online dental hygienist school online programs are available and often necessary for individuals that are interested in a dental hygienist career but do not have the time to attend a college campus. The schools train individuals to become hygienists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental professionals, etc.
From all dental hygienist schools that can be found online, the top three are:
- Penn Foster Career School
- San Joaquin Valley College
- Keiser University
The structure of the online programs is much at your pace. Students will be required to take a specific number of credits in dental hygiene courses and general education and elective courses. Core requirements include:
- Strategies of Instruction
- Advanced Clinical Concepts
Dental Hygienist Night School
Night school is another option for individuals that would like to pursue a career as a dental hygienist. Night school classes are becoming popular as more and more individuals must work during the day and would like a career that better suits them.
Evening dental hygienist night school programs provide the opportunity to become a dental hygienist. Advantages of the night classes typically involve smaller class size which means that there is more personal attention to each student in the classroom.
How Many Years Is Dental Hygienist School
Dental hygienist school will vary in length. There are different programs that can be taken and the years required to complete the programs will vary depending on the program. Certificate or associate’s degree courses will require two years of study. Students who take the two year course are not in as good of a position for a high dollar salary as students that complete a bachelor’s degree program or a master’s degree program.
Bachelor’s degree programs are a program that requires four years of full time study. The master’s degree requires six years or longer. Obviously, with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree the student achieves a greater education that will further their career.
What Can I Expect Once I Finish My Dental Hygienist School?
For those that have successfully completed their dental hygienist school, are then ready to take the state exam that is administered by the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam.
Dental hygienist salaries will vary, depending on different factors. One factor is the advancement in the career you have made. Another factor is the educational instruction you have received. Another factor, is your location. You can expect that a starting salary will be anywhere from $19 to $40 an hour. While this fluctuates greatly, it does all evolve around the various factors.
If you are after a higher paying salary, you definitely will want to position yourself in a city where the salary opportunity is greater and you will want to go for the gusto with the best education.
Dental hygienist school requires serious thought. There different avenues that one can take such as day, night or online classes, and there are different educational levels that one can partake in. Bottom line, it is a professional career and a professional outlook is necessary. The cost is not inexpensive, and the time involved is extensive. Students may be eligible for financial aid or a student loan if they find that the tuition requirements are tough to meet on their own. The courses are tough, there is no doubt about that. Look for a school that is accredited and has a high level of respect. Many school may require that you already have one year of college under your belt.
What Does Study At Dental Hygiene Schools Entail?
The key ways in which to become a dental hygienist is to study at one of the many dental hygiene schools across the U.S.; there are two options available:
- Take a four year bachelors degree in dental hygiene
- Take a two year dental hygiene program after having completed a first degree
In order to qualify as a dental hygienist it is necessary to pass a dental hygiene program; this will include studying in a class environment for at least two years at an accredited organization and also passing a written exam and a practical clinical exam. Dental hygiene schools provide the tuition and examination support for students to become qualified and accredited dental hygienists.
Dental hygiene schools are now commonplace across the U.S. with dental hygienist becoming a popular career choice for many. There are a number of institutions from which you can become a qualified dental hygienist. Dental hygiene schools must be accredited by the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) in order to offer programs or courses for dental hygiene.
There are a number of different paths you can take to become a dental hygienist. The most common route is to take a first degree in a science subject, or a degree related to dental hygiene and then take a two year course at an accredited dental hygiene school.
It is also possible to become a dental hygienist by taking a four year graduate degree in the field of dental hygiene. In order to be eligible for this four year course you must have a high school diploma; however some entrants to this course have bachelor’s degree and hope to learn more about their areas of expertise. Only institutions accredited with by the ADHA are able to offer dental hygiene courses.
How To Find The Best Dental Hygiene Schools In The U.S.
The American Dentists Hygienist’s Association can provide you with a list of all dental hygiene schools in the U.S. in order to make your decisions. The American Dentist Hygienists Association has an extremely robust system to accredit dental hygiene schools. There are three levels of accreditation as a dental hygiene schools across the U.S.
Dental hygiene schools may be ‘Approved without reporting requirements’; this means that the program achieves or exceeds the requirements for accreditation. An institution can also be ‘Approved with reporting requirements’. This means that the dental hygiene school has been accredited as an approved dental school; however that there are some concerns about areas of weakness. Unless these areas of weakness are improved upon over a set period of time the current accreditation as an approved dental hygiene school can be removed. Finally some dental hygiene schools may be awaiting accreditation and as such be classed as having received ‘Initial Accreditation’ which is granted to any dental program which is planning a dental hygiene program which is not yet fully operational. It is expected that those institutions which have achieved ‘Initial Accreditation’ will receive approval within a set time period.
It is important to choose an institution with an appropriate level of accreditation and to be satisfied that if your school is ‘Approved with reporting requirements’ that these will be met in order for you to become and accredited dental hygienist and licensed to work in the U.S.
There are currently more than three hundred courses available which will enable you to become an accredited dental hygienist. It is possible to qualify as a dental hygienist at one of the numerous dental hygiene schools in the U.S or at an online school for dental hygiene.
If you are looking for an online school for dental hygiene there are a number of good quality options available to you which can provided you with a cost effective and convenient way in which to become a dental hygienist. There are a number of benefits in choosing an online school for dental hygiene as it can afford you the convenience of studying at home and during times which are convenient to you. Virtual schools dental hygiene undertake the same rigorous accreditation system as actual schools for dental hygiene. However, it may be that you require more personal support from both your peers and your tutors and it is only by attending a physical dental hygiene program that you will be able to be with these people on a regular basis.
What Is The Next Step After Attending Accredited Dental Hygiene Schools?
Training to be a dental hygienist at one of the many accredited dental hygiene schools in the U.S. can be a lot of hard work but it can also be an extremely rewarding and interesting career. The amount of money which can be earned by working as a dental hygienist in the United States of America varies massively depending on your level of experience, both in terms of length of service as a dental hygienist and the type of work you have undertaken and also on which region of the U.S you have decided to start practicing. However, the salary of a dental hygienist is higher than the national average wage in each state.
Once you have qualified as a dental hygienist it may be that you wish to further expand your skills and knowledge in this area. On completing an Advanced Dental Hygiene program at one of the dental hygiene schools in the U.S., it is possible to become a Dental Therapist of Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner.
Dental Hygienist Salary
Have you ever wonder how much is dental hygienist salary? Registered dental hygienists are a licensed dental professional that specializes in the care and prevention of oral health. Dental hygienist work under doctors and perform many duties such as prophylaxis, also known as cleaning teeth, administration of fluoride and providing instruction to patients on how to properly care for their gums and teeth, dental sealants, scaling and root planning for patients with periodontal disease, taking of prescribed radiographs. The career is a respected career and dental hygienist salary is a salary that can be quite good.
Dental Hygienist Starting Salary
The dental hygienist can expect their starting salary to be much lower than dental hygienists salary of those who have worked for years in the profession. A starting salary for a dental hygienist that just entering the field can expect to be offered an annual salary of around $32,000.
Most states require that dental hygienists to be licensed. Students interested in a career as a dental hygienist will need to study and graduated from an accredited dental hygienist program and then be required to take and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam.
Registered dental hygienist salary will increase as the hygienist advances in their career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the 90th percentile starting salary is $91,470 and the 10th percentile salary is $44,180 annually.
A dental hygienist can earn a very lucrative salary and something that interests many individuals. The average salary for dental hygienist is quite a sizable annual income in comparison to many careers.
Median Salary For A Dental Hygienist
The median salary of a dental hygienist according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $30.19 per hour. The Bureau also records the lowest paid hygienists receive $19.45 or less an hour. The amount which a new hygienist is paid is based on many different factors, their education, work environment, and geographic location.
Dental Hygienist Salary Factors
Location of the job: The state and location of the job will play a factor when it comes to the salary base. As a general rule of thumb the closer to the city, the higher the salary. For instance, in New York, the salary is much higher at $74,000. Other high paying cities include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania paid dental hygienist salary of $54,000, Houston, Texas with salary averaging $58,000, Chicago, Illinois with salaries averaging $62,000, San Antonio, Texas at $48,000, Dallas, Texas at $58,000 and San Diego, California at $56,000.
Educational attainment and years of dental hygiene experience are also factors that will influence the dental hygienist salary. New entries into the career may find it difficult to secure job placement and an above average salary. The demand for hygienists is high; however, employers still seek applicants that have outstanding educational records, lots of clinical experience, extensive training and excellent hand dexterity skills. The higher salaries, such as those that reach into $90K annual are typically awarded to those with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
How To Become A Dental Hygienist
Should you choose that you would like to become a dental hygienist you definitely want to research the various accredited programs.
Individuals should possess both excellent people and communication skills and dexterity with their hands in order to be able to handle the different tools efficiently.
For an individual to be accepted into a dental hygienist program they must hold a high school degree or equivalent and must submit entrance college exams to the institution. The Commission on Dental Accreditation sponsors 301 dental hygienist programs. Some of the programs offer as far as a master’s degree, which is definitely the type of institution that you would like for the higher dental hygienist salary.
The student must strive towards good grades, and it is not always easy as there are many different subjects that must be conquered which include:
- Dental Hygiene
Students that find that they receive high grades will have a better shot at a higher than average dental hygienist salary.
There are few states that do not require dental hygienists to be licensed. To be eligible to take the exam, the applicant must have graduated from their dental hygienist program and must pass a written examination administered by the American Dental Association’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and clinical examination administered by state or regional testing agencies.
Plan Of Action To Acquire Higher Dental Hygienist Salary
For individuals that are interested in a career as a dental hygienist, they should have a strategic plan to ensure that they have the opportunity for the maximum dental hygienist salary upon graduation. A dental hygienist education is not something that is a cakewalk, it is very intense and one must think of it as intense. It will require a fair degree of time and you will need to decide if you want to settle on a certificate, a bachelor’s degree, or go for the ultimate power with a master’s degree.
If you seek a higher dental hygienist salary, you definitely will not want to settle on a certificate, as with the certificate you will likely find that the average starting salary of a dental hygienist is much lower than if you have your bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. Again, location will play a role in your dental hygienist salary, and this may be something else that you might want to consider-you might choose to study in one city and upon graduation move to a city that offers a much higher salary. Whatever your path, a dental hygienist career is a career that is a professional career and one that is quite respected. The career does not come without years of studying and hard work, but, the benefits are many. Registered dental hygienist work in a field that they enjoy, the people are new and old friends, respect is high, and they earn a salary that can reach as high as $90K or more annually. It is a career that anyone with the interest and skill could definitely benefit from.