Dental hygienist gives patients preventive oral care. Dental hygienist also examines the patients to check if they have oral diseases, clean their teeth, and teach patients on how to care for their dental health better. Hygienists usually spend time with patients more than dentists do while providing them basic dental care. Dental hygienist are also well versed when it comes to brushing and flossing the teeth, something that they pass on to clients. The average dental hygienist salary, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is almost $70,000 per year. The bureau also projected the growth rate for hygienist to be at 38% from 2010 to 2020, which is higher than the 14% growth rate for all other jobs in the US. Read more about dental hygienist salary.
Hygienist Job Description
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dental hygienist mainly works with the dentist to provide optimum care to the patients. Their duties include screening the patients, such as examining their dental health, asking about their medical history, subjecting them to oral cancer screening, checking their neck and head, taking their pulse and blood pressure, and dental charting. Dental hygienist is also tasked with taking dental radiographs, removing plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces, and applying fluorides or sealants. Hygienist also needs to teach patients how to maintain their oral health through brushing, flossing, and eating the right food. Dental hygienist also creates impressions of the teeth for study casts. Office management activities and documentation are also part of their duties.
Dental hygiene salary in 2013
Average hygienist salary
The mean hourly salary of a dental hygienist in the US is $33.31 per hour. The average annual salary is $69,760 per year, according to the BLS.
Hygienist salary in the USA
According to PayScale reports, the average dental hygienist salary in the US is $44,695 to $87,569 per year, with their median salary being $65,271. Hygienist earns $23.97 to $42.18 per hour and make up to $60.66 per hour for overtime pay. Hygienist may also get bonuses up to $1,968 and profit sharing of around $203.47 to $5,120.
Based on their experience, dental hygienist with less than a year of experience makes $26,127 to $62,612 per year, while the more established ones with over 20 years of experience earn $37,783 to $78,493.
Based on their certification, a Certified Dental Hygienist makes $31,212 to $77,845; a hygienist licensed to take X-rays earns $35,110 to $79,869; and one who obtained a Nitrous Oxide Administration Certification get $35,596 to $79,634 a year. This dental hygienist salary is not far from that of a practitioner with an Advanced Laser Certification, which is $30,252 to $72,233 a year. However, a hygienist who is also a Certified Dental Assistant makes $31,562 to $81,219 and one who holds an Administration of Local Anesthesia Certification earns $39,193 to 487,323 a year.
Depending on the industry they are working in, the dental hygienist salary in a dental laboratory is the highest, at $28,187 to $99,329 a year. A hygienist in a dentist’s office has the second highest payment of $30,130 to $76,274, while one in dental prosthetic services make $31,540 to $71,096 a year. The hygienist salary in the health care industry ranges from $39,900 to $68,754 and $40,960 to $67,775 for those working in a prison facility.
Hygienist salary by state
Dental hygienists who are working in San Francisco, California are the highest paid dental hygienists in the country. The average hygienist salary in the said city is $106,120 per year. Other top paying cities include New Haven, Connecticut, with $105,240; Vallejo, California, with $100,500; Santa Rosa, California, with $98,000; and Bremerton, Washington, with $97,990 per year.
Based on pay by state, California pays the highest hygienist salary of $91,010 per year. This is followed by the District of Columbia, with an annual pay of $90,500; Washington, with $90,420; Nevada, with $88,620; and Alaska, with 86,310 a year. Alabama had the lowest annual hygienist salary of $44,900 per year.
Hygienist salary in Canada
The dental hygienist salary for those working in Canada ranges from C$50,435 to C$94,570 a year. Hygienist has a median salary of C$71,748. The hourly wage for practitioners in this occupation is C$26.44 to C$46.09 per hour, with the overtime pay being C$66.06 an hour. Bonuses may amount to C$1,977.
A full time hygienist receives an annual salary of C$60,000 to C$70,000 a year.
Their salary also varies based on where they are working. The hygienist salary in Calgary, Alberta is the highest, at $53 per hour, while the lowest salary is in Montreal, Quebec at $17 per hour.
Hygienist salary in Australia
In Australia, the dental hygienist salary ranges from AU$51,609 to AU$108,850 per year, or AU$25.30 to AU$53.08 per hour. Some hygienists also get bonuses of up to AU$998.
One of the factors that affect the hygienist salary is the location of their workplace. Those who work in Victoria earn more at AU$65,000 to AU$100,000, while hygienist who works in New South Wales make AU$49,132 to AU$61,674 a year.
Another factor that determines the hygienist’s pay is who they are working for. Hygienists who are employed by a company make AU$57,391 to AU$94,500, while those who are in private practice earn around AU$40,614 to AU$97,871 annually.
Hygienist salary in the UK
According to PayScale, the average hygienist salary in the UK is £20,648 to £68,514 per year, with their median salary being £51,623. The hourly wage ranges from £20.17 to £34.40, while the overtime pay is £30.52 per hour. Bonuses of up to £1,030 may be given away.
The starting hygienist salary ranges from £20,700 to £26,800. This increases to between £33,500 and £39,300 per year as the hygienist gains more experience.
Based on their employer type, dental hygienist makes more when she/he is self employed, about £22.57 to £36.39 per hour. The hygienist salary for those working in private practice is £17.87 to £33.94, while those employed by companies get around £19.34 to £32 per hour.
Hygienist salary in South Africa
Dental and oral hygienist are the same occupations. Based on the oral hygienist salary report in South Africa, hygienist earns around R60,200 to R313,258 per year. The occupation salary is R134,589. Their basic salary ranges from R59,180 to R235,596 per year, with bonuses amounting to as much as R18,311.
The hygienist salary in Pretoria is the highest at R120,000 to R244,168 a year, according to PayScale. Hygienist who is working in Johannesburg earn R108,000 to R204,000, while those who are based in Cape Town take home R22,669 to R174,524 per year.
Hygienist salary in New Zealand
According to CareersNZ, the starting hygienist salary is NZ$35 per hour. As hygienists gain more experience, about two to three years, they earn up to NZ$45 per hour. Senior hygienists with over five years of experience or those who manage others make around NZ$60 per hour. Based on geography, the dental hygienist salary in Auckland is higher than those in other areas in New Zealand.
Hygienist salary in India
PayScale reported the median salary for dental hygienists to be around Rs302,999 a year. Those who hold the position as a registered dental hygienist (RDH) make Rs242,000 a year as their median salary.
How to become a dental hygienist ?
To become a dental hygienist, one needs at least have an associate’s degree to qualify for an entry-level position. However, there are also certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in dental hygiene that one can take in technical colleges, community colleges, universities, or dental schools. Usually, private dentist’s offices hire only hygienists with a certificate or an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Those who are interested in clinical practice in school or public health programs, teaching or research need to complete a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. Most dental hygiene programs include classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction. The usual subjects taught are physiology, anatomy, radiography, nutrition, and periodontology. Those who want to obtain a license need to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as the state-authorized licensure exam. Licensed dental hygienists can then put RDH degree after their names.
Conclusion about hygienist salary
According to the BLS, the dental hygienist salary is $70,070 per year on the average. The lower 10%, however, makes only $46,420 per year or less, while the top 10% earn $94,850 a year or more. The hygienist salary fares well compared to the salaries of the other healthcare professions. It is higher than that of a clinical laboratory technician and a dental assistant, while it is similar to that of a registered nurse. However, it is slightly lower than the salary of an occupational therapist.