Average Dental Hygiene Salaries

Some estimate that the need for dental hygienists will grow as much as 30% by the year 2018. This is a healthcare field that has already been growing for years. Part of the reason is that the baby boom generation has not been as complacent with their oral hygiene as the generation prior to them. Baby boomers in the United States have also made sure their children received regular dental care, making it the norm to see your dentist twice a year. In addition dentists of this generation are looking to cut back their hours or retire, relying more on their hygienists for patient care. Since all dental practices require the services of a hygienist one can find work almost anywhere. Considering all of this, it is an exciting time to ponder a career in the dental field.

Average Salaries for Hygienists

The average salary of a dental hygienist varies widely by location. Major cities like New York, San Francisco and LA have a median salary of $61,000 or above, but the cost of living in these cities is also higher. Certain states like Washington, Alaska and California are the highest paying due to the high demand for dental hygienists. Alaska comes in highest with an average annual mean salary of $90,740, California is a close second with $90,220 and Washington's average salary is $87,810. Basically the annual salary in the United States ranges from $44,180 to $92,860 with a median salary of $66,570.

In 2008 there were 174,000 dental hygienists employed in the United States, with almost half of them working part time. Most hygienists are paid hourly and always work under the supervision of a dentist, so this is not an independently employed field of work. You must have an affinity for working closely with people. This is a career choice with steady employment statistics, good benefits, a nice salary and a pleasant working environment. Taking all of this into consideration now is the time to examine the schooling options required to become a dental hygienist.