Dental Hygienist Salary
The average salary of dental hygienist in US is $67,000.
Dental Hygienist makes an average yearly salary of around $67,000 which can be divided as an hourly salary of $32 in the United States of America. The highest paid 10% of the dental hygienists make yearly salary of around $81,000 or $39 per hour. Dental hygienists that are working in the lowest paid 10% make as much as $53,000 per year or $25 per hour. The 50% of the dental hygienists working in the middle make an hourly salary between $28 and $35 or $59,000 and $71,000 per year.
Along with the salary, dental hygienists have many other benefits that increase their total yearly salary. These benefits are present in the form of bonuses, paid holidays, healthcare benefits, pension, 401K and social security contributions. By adding all of these the median yearly salary of dental hygienists becomes $94,000.
Factors Affecting the Salary of a Dental Hygienist
Like many other professions, the salary of a dental hygienist is not fixed. It is greatly influenced by many factors such as training, experience, location, establishment, workplace etc. In simple words, a dentist can earn as much as he is experienced. Dental hygienists that are self employed can earn more than those working in hospitals or larger firms depending upon the state they are employed in. The average salary varies from state to state.
Duties of Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienist works along with the dentists to take care of oral health of the patients. The main job of the dental hygienists may change depending upon the rules and needs of the state they are employed in. But commonly the sets of jobs they are appointed are as follows:
- Screening of dental patients that includes oral health condition assessment, checking patient’s history, oral inspection and cancer screening, head and neck inspection, blood pressure recording and dental charting
- Taking dental radiographs and preparing patients for it
- Removal of plague and calculus and other deposits
- Application of materials on teeth that prevent cavities
- Making of teeth models of patients that are needed by dentists to study
- Office and administrative works are usually performed by these professional working in private settings
- It is also the duty of the dental hygienists to educate patients about the techniques to maintain good oral health. They also have the duty to guide people about proper brushing and nutrition.
- Hygienists many times also help the dentist during oral treatments
- In some states, these professionals are also allowed to administer local anesthetics
How to Become a Dental Hygienist
A large number of dental hygienists enrol into community colleges to obtain their associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Although there are dental hygiene programs available at bachelor’s and even master’s level but not many people use these for their qualification in this field. People who want to continue their profession in a private practice requires minimum qualification which can be a certificate in dental hygiene or an associate’s degree. Dental hygienists, who want to practice their profession in teaching or research capacity, it is must for them to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dental hygiene.
If you are a high school student now then you should take classes in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology as it will help you in the future. These subjects will make your base for subjects you will study in your dental hygiene program such as physiology, periodontology, anatomy, radiography and nutrition. You will get trained and study in classroom, laboratory and clinical environment.
Dental Hygienist Salary in Australia, UK and Canada
Australia: The average yearly salary of a dental hygienist, in Australia is around AU$62,000. Depending upon the experience the salary can vary between AU$50,000 and AU$73,000 per year.
UK: Dental hygienist starting out their career in United Kingdom can expect a yearly salary between £20,000 and £27,000. Experienced dental hygienists can earn a salary between £33,000 and £40,000 per year.
Canada: The average yearly salary of a dental hygienist in Canada is around CA$60,000. Depending upon the experience, the yearly salary of a dental hygienist in Canada can lie between CA$51,000 and CA$70,000.
The above mentioned salaries are based on average basis. You can earn a lot more or less depending upon your qualification, experience, training and location. While dental hygienist is not a very highly paying profession in the healthcare field but because it requires less time to become dental hygienist as compared to other healthcare professions, it is considered as a respected profession.