While Indeed.com reports that the average dental hygienist salary in the United States is just $51,000 per year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that they make $72,330 a year ($34.77 an hour). According to Dental Careers EDU, the high salary for dental hygienist made it the 2nd Best Job in Health Care in Forbes’ list in 2014. But can every candidate expect a top dental hygienist starting salary? Learn how location, experience and other aspects can influence the average salary of a dental hygienist below.
Dental Hygienist Salary Influencers
When studying the potential salary of a dental hygienist, you can’t speak about different industries. As you probably already know, all dental hygienists operate in the same industry – healthcare. However, what can set the registered dental hygienist salary apart from another is the employer. To put it shortly, the larger a company is, the larger the dental hygienist average salary will be. Here are a few examples of popular companies and their annual wages, provided through dental hygienist salary Payscale data:
- Family Dental – $60,000 – $79,000
- Aspen Dental – $53,000 – $63,000
- Heartland Dental Care – $59,000 – $80,000
- DDS Inc. – $63,000 – $96,000
- Pacific Dental Services Incorporated – $73,000 – $85,000
2. Geographic Area
The dental hygienist salary can be completely different based on location. Some states in America barely pay dental hygienists with over $44k a year, while others have an average salary of dental hygienist over $98k. In fact, the greatest salary dental hygienist professionals get in the U.S. can be found in the District of Columbia, with $98,530 annually. Some other top dental hygienists salary estimates are:
- Dental hygienist salary California residents get – $93,970
- New Mexico dental hygienist salary – $89,290
- Registered dental hygienist salary in Nevada – $89,190
- Washington average salary for dental hygienist – $88,870
- Average salary dental hygienist gets in Alaska – $84,430
When it comes to the dental hygienist salary based on geographic area, a few other highly sought-after locations and their annual pay estimates are:
Dental hygienist salary in VA – $80,430
- Average dental hygienist salary NY – $72,920
- Estimate of dental hygienist salary Texas – $72,320
- Approximate dental hygienist salary MN – $71,010
- Median dental hygienist salary in NC – $66,910
- Typical dental hygienist salary Florida – $63,370
- Usual dental hygienist salary in GA – $62,860
- Dental hygienist salary in PA – $62,830
But is it worth relocating to a top-paying state if you don’t have job openings? It’s just as relevant to do research on employment rates before making any career move. The BLS states that the following 5 states employ the most dentist hygienists in the United States:
- New York
The starting salary for dental hygienist professionals in their first 5 years is reportedly $62,000. Payscale, the same source, mentions that in the next 5 years it grows to about $68,000 a year. Dental hygienists with 10-20 years of experience make $70,000 annually. Finally, those with more than 20 years behind them receive a yearly salary of $72,000.
Working Hours and Environment
Most dental hygienists work in the offices of dentists. However, they can also work in one of these places:
- Physicians’ offices
- Outpatient clinics
Around 50% of dental hygienists have a part time schedule. Moreover, they are usually hired by dentists.
Dental Hygienist Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
|District of Columbia||98,530|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
On the other hand, one of the downsides for dental hygienists is that most of them don’t have health benefits. Even though 42% have dental insurance, only 34% have medical benefits. Even more so, just 11% have vision coverage as part of their medical benefits. Consequently, this leaves 44% of dental hygienists without any health benefits whatsoever.
However, possibly the best part about the dental hygienist salary is the job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 19% more job opportunities for dental hygienists in the 2014-2024 timeframe. This is far greater than the national average for all professions in the U.S. economy, which is 7%. In addition to this, it surpasses the percent change in employment projected for health technologists and technicians – 16%.
In conclusion, the dental hygienist salary can vary depending on a great number of factors. One of the most important aspects is location, but your level of experience is just as relevant. While the job outlook is quite high for dental hygienists, candidates should still do their best to prepare for the potential position and sharpen their skills. Finally, if you have any doubts regarding your dental hygienist salary, ask your hiring manager about any other details you need to make your final decision.
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