Dental Hygienists general responsibilities include cleaning teeth to remove stains and plaque from teeth, apply sealants and fluorides, administer dental x-rays, maintain patient treatment plans, as well as, educate patients on proper oral hygiene.
It is important to note that this is a general description and your actual duties may differ for each specific position.
How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make?
When comparing salaries requiring a four year college degree or less; you will be hard pressed to find a profession that offers a more lucrative salary in the Medical field.
Salaries do range based on job specifics, experience, and educational requirements; however, we will go into that more later.
Referencing the Occupational Outlook Handbook; the median pay for a Dental Hygienist was $68,250.00 for 2010. Although this is a couple years outdated; fluctuations in pay over the last couple years have been minimal. The employment outlook is expected to grow 38% over the next 10 years, thus significantly outpacing the national average.
Here are some Statistics from www.bls.gov
2010 Median Pay – $68,250 or $32.81 per hour
Entry Level Education Level – Associates Degree
Number of Jobs in 2010 – 181,000
Job Outlook 2010-2021 – 38%
Overall the range varies between $45,000 and $93.820. One distinct attribute to a career in dental hygiene is that this position has varying hours; with over half of employed hygienists only work part time.
How to Make the Most as a Dental Hygienist?
Certain states do pay more than others, for example Alaska reportedly pays the most out of any state; with an annual salary just hovering over $100,000.00. Michigan statically has been one of the worst paying states for a dental hygienist.
Most Dental Hygienists will work out of a local dentist office; however, with some experience some will find that their careers are more lucrative working for an oral surgeon or in a hospital. Generally these places average salaries close to six figures. However, demand is high for these positions and only the most qualified will be chosen.
Dental Hygienists – More than Just a Great Salary
Dental Hygienist careers do offer great salaries; however, there are additional benefits to this career that may often be over looked. Dental Hygienists typically will have flexible hours; this is a benefit for mothers who are trying to balance a family. Other benefits include a great benefit package, with paid holidays, paid time off, personal and sick time, 401k, pensions, and great health and dental insurance packages.