As the dental hygienist salary continues to rise, an increasing number of students are looking into a career in this field. If you’re thinking about becoming a dental hygienist, this article will give you all the details you need to make an informed decision.
Although the dentist is the one who ultimately provides care to patients, the oral hygienist is often the first point of contact and is responsible for many important tasks.
Who Is a Dental Hygienist?
Dental or oral hygienists are healthcare professionals who focus on preventive oral care. They typically work under the supervision of a dentist and are responsible for tasks such as cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and providing patient education. In some states, such hygienists may also perform certain procedures, such as administering local anesthesia or removing sutures.
Is This Occupation for You?
If you’re interested in working in the dental field but don’t want to become a dentist, then becoming a dental hygienist may be the perfect career for you. Dental hygiene is a growing field with good job prospects and competitive salaries. Plus, it’s a great way to help people maintain their oral health. What is the dental hygienist salary? Move on to get the details!
Dental Hygienist Salary in the United States
According to various sources, dental hygienists earn an average salary of $77,000 per year (2022). However, salaries can vary significantly depending on location and employer. For example, dental hygienists working in New York and California earn some of the highest salaries in the country. Not to mention Alaska!
Salary by State and Benefits Offered 2022
Where is the dental hygienist salary higher? Take a look at some information on the median pay of an oral hygienist by state and per year. In addition to earning higher salaries, many states also offer better benefits packages than others. The table below outlines how many dental hygienists make in each state, as well as what kind of benefits are typically offered:
- Alaska $86,866 Paid vacation, sick days, and holidays;
- Arizona $76,611 Health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits;
- California $86,556 Health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits;
- Colorado $77,257 Paid vacation days and holidays;
- Connecticut $83.968 401k or 403b plan with employer match contribution;
- Delaware $81.364 Dental hygienists in Delaware are not covered by a union contract;
- Florida $73.615 Dental hygienists in Florida are not covered by a union contract;
- Georgia $74.971 Sick leave and personal leave days; may also have dental coverage;
- Hawaii Not available Hawaii does not require dental hygienists to be licensed;
- Idaho $73,136 Dental hygienists in Idaho are not covered by a union contract.
Where Do Dentist Hygienists Earn the Most in the United States?
Dental hygienists in Alaska, New York, California and Washington earn some of the highest salaries in the country. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists in these two states earn an average salary that is more than $20,000 higher than the national average. The wages oscillate around $49 per hour.
Which Companies Pay The Most?
There are many factors that can affect how much a dental hygienist earns, including their level of experience and the state in which they live. However, some companies are known for paying their employees more than others. The table below outlines the top five highest paying employers for dental hygienists in the United States: Henry Schein, Dentons, Aetna, Delta Dental Plans Association, or Oral Roberts University.
Dental hygienists typically work full-time hours and may be required to work weekends or evenings to meet the needs of their patients. They typically work in dentist offices, but may also work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities.
Dental Assistant vs. Dental Hygienist
Some people mistake careers as a dental hygienist with the one of an assistant. Here is the difference: dental assistants give treatment, take x-rays, keep records, and make appointments. They require a postsecondary and their nondegree award is $41,180. Dental hygienists check for indicators of oral health problems, such as gingivitis, and offer preventative dental care, including oral hygiene. They require an associate’s degree and the average dental hygienist salary fluctuate around $77,090.
College Degree Requirements
Most dental hygiene programs require students to have a high school diploma or equivalent before they can apply. However, some programs may also require students to complete certain prerequisite courses, such as biology and chemistry. Once they are accepted into a dental hygiene program, students will need to complete an accredited associate’s or bachelor’s degree program. Upon graduation, they will be eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and apply for state licensure.
Average Dental Hygienist Salary. Recap
So, what is the dental hygienist salary in the United States? It depends on the location and the company. However, the average salary for a dental hygienist in the United States is $77,000. If you want to be a dental hygienist, it’s important to know what you can expect as far as pay goes. And if you’re looking for the best places to work as a dental hygienist, make sure you revise some company names. You might want to move to Alaska too! Let us know your thoughts and best of luck with looking for a new job!