What is a Dental Hygienist’s Hourly Salary?

DentalPost takes a look at the salary, benefits, working environment, and education requirements when entering the Dental Hygiene career.

Learning as much as possible about being a registered dental hygienist and what comes with it empowers you to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. You will know you are on track to reach your dreams and embrace a fulfilling career that brings meaning to your life. Since you spend a lot of time at your job, you must select one that makes sense for you and your personality.

Dental Hygienist Average Pay

The average hourly wage for a dental hygienist is $36. While that is the average pay, you might not make that much when you first start your career path. Putting in the time, gaining experience with dental hygiene jobs, and earning a reputation for outstanding patient care gives you the chance to increase your earning potential. Your pay goes up with your years of experience. 

Dental hygienists can earn $103,340 per year or more working full-time. The dental practice and state you work in also plays a role. Look for job postings and alerts in different states to boost your earning potential, and states with the highest demand for dental hygiene jobs pay the most.

Dental Hygienist Benefits

Job seekers often ask about the top benefits of working as a dental hygienist in a dental group. Whether you work full-time or become a part-time dental hygienist, you will enjoy flexible hours, a rewarding environment, and competitive pay. You can choose a range of environments in which to work, depending on your location and goals.

For example, you could work for a large dental group or a small office. This job type offers many advantages you would not get in other fields, which is worth keeping in mind as you decide what to do. Paid time off is another benefit of working at a general dental office. The ADHA is a fantastic group that promotes the rights and well-being of dental hygienists across the nation, but only dentists and dental students can join the ADA.

Dental Hygienist Overview and Working Environment

You will work in the office of a dentist as an RDH. Your role makes you responsible for the dental hygiene of the patients that come into the office for their oral hygiene. Taking X-rays is part of your job duties when you choose this career path, but you also need excellent communication skills to explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. You could help manage Dentrix software and apply sealants to patients, but only the dentist can identify and treat oral cancer.

Many people in this fieldwork are in family dentistry and work with patients of all ages and backgrounds. Those with a high-quality attitude and the mentality of a team player go far in this career, so develop those traits if you don’t already have them.

Dental Hygienist Educational Requirements

If you want to provide dental hygiene services, your first step is getting an associate’s degree. After getting your degree, you must then get licensed before you can begin your new career. Many people are happy with moving forward with an associate’s degree, but you can further your education to make yourself stand apart from the crowd.

A bachelor’s degree, for example, makes you stand apart from other job seekers and improves your odds of getting a position in the office you want. Also, consider a college that offers a job alert when you graduate to gain employment as soon as possible.

Dental Hygienist Ideal Candidate

Since you will do patient screening and want to gain patient experience, you need people skills and a desire to help others thrive in this field. You need to work well with others and always make an effort to boost your communication skills.

The ideal candidate is motivated to advance their career and improve their skills at all times, and you are the perfect fit if you have those qualities. You perform a vital service to the patients you serve and must maintain a professional attitude each step of the way.

Final Thoughts

Working as a dental hygienist lets you earn anywhere between $53,000 and around $100,000 per year. Your location and experience play a critical role in the amount you earn. Continuing your education and making other efforts to rise above the rest boost your earning potential and let you get the most from this career.

If you are genuinely passionate about this field, advancing your education and earning the top wage bracket should not take much effort. Keep your eye on your long-term goal if you want to enjoy the most from your effort. Remember, making a sustained effort now pays off in the future, and the rewards are more than worth it.


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