Dental Hygienist at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Dental Hygienist

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Dental Hygienist

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Dental Hygienist

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Washington 9,090 $39,430 $19
Utah 4,390 $27,460 $13
Idaho 2,000 $31,480 $15

Becoming a Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists typically hold an associate's degree in dental hygiene and are state-licensed. The requirements for licensure vary by state. Completing of an accredited two to three-year associate degree in dental hygiene typically qualifies students to sit for the state licensure exam. Many schools offer online bachelor's degree completion programs in dental hygiene for students with an associate's degree in dental hygiene.

Associate degree programs will include classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction. Students will study anatomy, physiology, nutrition, radiography, and periodontology, the study of gum disease. Some typical classes in a dental hygiene degree program include:

  • Oral Science
  • Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice
  • Dental Materials
  • Pain Management

The majority of dental hygienists work part time, and may be paid by the hour or on commission. Benefits for dental hygienists vary by employer and are most likely available only to full-time employees. Dental hygienists with a bachelor's or master's degree in dental hygiene may advance to a research, teaching, managerial, or public health position.