Becoming a Dental Hygienist can be a great career and carries with it a very attractive dental hygienist salary. This varies from being a dentist as the requirements are usually just an Associate’s of Science Degree that does not involve having to go to dental school. Having not gone to dental school a dental hygienist earns a lesser salary than a dentist, but you may be surprised just how much earning potential this career pathway has.
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A dental hygienist helps to protect the gums and teeth by preventing oral diseases. A hygienist is a certified and licensed dental professional that is permitted to perform a variety of services depending upon the state they are licensed in. Most often a dental hygienist is responsible for teeth cleaning and removing hard and soft deposits upon a patient’s teeth as well as teaching them proper oral hygiene techniques. This is an essential part of dental care and most offices have a hygienist on duty at any given time.
The average dental hygienist salary varies from location to location. In America a hygienist can expect to expect to be paid via commission, salary, hourly, or a daily rate. The average as of 2008 was around $67,000 a year. A low salary for that year was around $45,000 and a high was nearly $93,000. In some areas such as Washington State and Alaska workers earned substantially higher averages that year, $90,000 and $96,000 respectively.
Even with this very attractive salary here is an increasing need for hygienists all over the country. As of 2008 there were 301 accredited programs across the United States accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Each program has different entrance requirements. Some require a High School Diploma and a year of college prior to admission whereas others only require certain college credits prior to admission to a dental hygienist program. Every state administers the written exam by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations of the American Dental Association (ADA). This is a clinical exam required to be taken before gaining one’s license and being well on the way to one of the many attractive dental hygienist’s salaries available all over the country.
Becoming a Dental hygienist is a good way to earn a very reputable and attractive salary. However it requires licensing and an education to back it up, so if you want a dental hygienist salary you have to definitely study and apply yourself.