Dental Hygienists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Job description

Dental Hygienists clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
Read more about what does a Dental Hygienist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$75500 per year

Average hourly wage
$36 per hour


Dental Hygienists with little to no experience tend to make between $51930 and $62490 while the more experienced ones can earn over $89610 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
AK$55$114,320
CA$48$100,830
WA$44$90,690
AZ$41$85,890
NJ$41$85,860

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Dental Hygienist is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Dental Hygienists are AK, CA, WA, AZ and NJ.

However, a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Dental Hygienist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

We asked other Dental Hygienists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had an Associate’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
Read more about how to become a Dental Hygienist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Dental Hygienist.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
79%

Is this job meaningful
78%


79% of Dental Hygienists said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.




Learn more about Dental Hygienists

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Related career information

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