How Much Does Dental Hygienist Make
Dental hygiene is an essential aspect of dental health care. Dental hygienists play a critical role in the dental care team, working alongside dentists to help patients maintain good oral hygiene. Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning teeth, examining patients for signs of oral diseases, and educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices. One of the most frequently asked questions about dental hygienists is how much they earn. In this article, we will explore the salaries of dental hygienists in the United States.
Smile24H recognizes the crucial role dental hygienists play in providing preventive and therapeutic dental care. The median annual wage for dental hygienists in the US was $76,220 as of May 2020. Factors such as geographic location, level of education and experience, and type of employer can impact their salary. However, with a positive job outlook and growing demand for dental services, becoming a dental hygienist can be a rewarding career path.
What is a Dental Hygienist?
Before we dive into the salary details, it’s essential to understand what a dental hygienist does. A dental hygienist is a licensed oral health professional who works with dentists to provide preventive and therapeutic dental care. They clean teeth, take X-rays, and perform other diagnostic tests to identify potential oral health issues. They also educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing.
Salary of Dental Hygienists:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for dental hygienists was $76,220 as of May 2020. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in a particular occupation earn more than that amount, and half earn less.
The lowest 10 percent of dental hygienists earned less than $53,130, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,340. The median hourly wage for dental hygienists was $36.64.
Factors Affecting Dental Hygienist Salaries:
Several factors can influence the salary of dental hygienists. Some of the factors that affect dental hygienist salaries include:
The cost of living and demand for dental hygienists in a particular area can affect their salary. For instance, dental hygienists working in metropolitan areas typically earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas.
Level of education and experience:
Dental hygienists with more education and experience typically earn higher salaries than those who are just starting in the field.
Type of employer:
Dental hygienists working for private dental offices tend to earn higher salaries than those working for government agencies or non-profit organizations.
Dental hygienists working in specialized industries such as dental laboratories tend to earn higher salaries than those working in general dental offices.
Full-time vs. part-time: Dental hygienists working full-time tend to earn higher salaries than those working part-time.
Many dental hygienists receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, which can impact their overall compensation.
Job Outlook for Dental Hygienists:
The BLS projects that employment of dental hygienists will grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the population ages, the demand for dental services is expected to increase, leading to a higher demand for dental hygienists.
Dental Hygienist Education and Licensing:
To become a dental hygienist, you must earn an associate degree in dental hygiene from an accredited program. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in dental hygiene are also available, but an associate degree is the minimum requirement.
In addition to earning a degree, dental hygienists must be licensed to practice. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most states require dental hygienists to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state or regional clinical board exam.
Dental hygienists play a critical role in promoting oral health and preventing dental disease. While their salaries may vary depending on several factors, including geographic location, level of education and experience, and type of employer, they are generally well-compensated for their expertise and contributions to the dental care team. In addition to their salaries, dental hygienists may also receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
Overall, the job outlook for dental hygienists is positive, with employment projected to grow at about the same rate as the average for all occupations. As the demand for dental services increases with an aging population, the demand for dental hygienists is expected to rise.
If you are considering a career as a dental hygienist, it’s essential to research the requirements in your state and understand the factors that may impact your salary. With the right education, experience, and dedication to promoting oral health, dental hygiene can be a fulfilling and rewarding career.