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How Does Your Dental Hygienist Salary Stack Up? (2018 Update!)

Posted September 13, 2018

The DentalPost Team

As a practicing dental professional, or a prospective one, you should know just how your position stacks up in the job market and dental industry.

This summer, we gathered data from over 4,000 dental professionals – including dentists, registered dental hygienists, and dental assistants – to see just how salaries, benefits and experience matched up across the country. In the coming weeks and months, we will be rolling out the eye-opening results – complete with interesting tidbits by region and position – starting with responses from more than 1,200 registered dental hygienists around the country.

2018 Registered Dental Hygienist Profile

How long do dental hygienists work during the week, in the industry, and at the same practice?

Of our 1,200+ RDH respondents, 60% work full time, while 40% work part time.

Full-time dental hygienists tend to work fewer hours the longer they’re in the industry (31-35 hours/week), whereas younger dental hygienists tend to work between 36-40 hours a week.

For part-time dental hygienists, the results to this metric were much more skewed; although some RDHs with 20+ years of experience still work 30+ hour weeks, the majority of the people with 20+ years of experience work 25 hours a week or less.

Similarly interesting, while most hygienists tend to stay in the dental field for a while, they don’t always stay with the same practice. 34% of full-time RDH respondents and 54% of part-time respondents have only been at their current practice for less than 5 years. This gives evidence for a high turnover rate for dental hygienists industry-wide.

How much do dental hygienists make?

The majority of full-time RDH respondents make between $40-60K a year (40%), followed closely by 37% of respondents making between $60-75K. Alternatively, the majority of part-time RDH make between $40-60K a year (34%), followed closely by 31% of respondents making between $25-40K.

As is expected, the more experience you have the more money you have the ability to make. You’re very likely to see increases in your salary if you stick it out in the field!

Do registered dental hygienists have a great work-life balance?

With a significant portion of our respondents holding part-time positions at their practices, it is safe to say you can make a livable wage as a RDH despite not having to commit 40+ hours a week at your practice. Plus, as noted above, full-time respondents found more free time during the week the longer they worked.

Of the respondents polled, 75% of people have at least one child. Approximately 50% of the people who have children have two children living in their home, and another 25% have three or more children. This gives evidence to believe that hygienists are indeed able to raise a family given their work hours and conditions.

What surprised you about our survey findings? What isn’t so surprising? Let us know your thoughts and comments on our Facebook and Twitter!


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