These days, the number of people suffering from oral problems is increasing at a rapid pace and hence, the job of a dental hygienist has become one of the most in-demand medical jobs. Though the cost of education for becoming a dental hygienist is high in some universities, the salary for those who have the requisite talents and skills is quite high, which makes it possible to recover educational expenses in a few years.
A dental hygienist’s salary depends largely on the education, years of experience, and their location of work. As per salary surveys conducted by experts, the average salary is believed to be around USD 51,000 per year. In some places, they can also practice as independent medical professionals as per the new laws passed. On an hourly basis, those whose income falls in the ‘lowest’ range, are known to earn around USD 20.5 per hour. On the other hand, the highest paid ones are known to earn more than USD 43 per hour. On an annual basis, it is not difficult for them to earn more than USD 100,000 per year, after gaining quality experience of at least eight years. Salary for those with less than two years of experience is around USD 40,000 per year. With around five to seven years of experience, this can go up to USD 68,000 per year.
The states of Washington, California, and Nevada are known to pay the best packages to dental hygienists. The salary for professionals working in Washington and California is more than USD 90,000 per year. While dental hygienists in Alaska earn around USD 75,670 per year, salaries of those employed in Michigan can be around USD 59,520 per year.
* Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The ones employed in hospitals, can expect to earn around USD 55,670 per year while those working in offices of dentists can earn USD 67,220 per year.
* Salary Voice
The job of a dental hygienist includes important tasks such as teaching good dental habits to the patients, cleaning teeth properly, and maintaining them. They teach the right ways of brushing teeth and also make patients understand the importance of regular dental check-ups. They also give patients some useful tips regarding what diet to follow and also tell them why there is a need to give up addictions such as smoking and chewing tobacco. They assist the dentists in diagnosing and treating medical problems of the teeth, gums, and the mouth. By assisting dentists, they gain on-the-job experience, which is very useful for their future career growth. They also provide general dental care facilities and diagnose serious illnesses such as oral cancer. Taking X-rays of teeth, polishing fillings, prescribing suitable medicines to the patients, applying sealants and fluorides to the teeth for making them strong, and keeping a medical record of the health history of patients, are some of the other tasks that they do.
The salary of dental hygienists has shown a growing trend since the last few years and the same trend is expected to continue as per the opinions of job market experts. You should be prepared for hard work and have a lot of patience, as gaining a respectable position in the field of medicine is not easy.