Factors Determining a Dental Hygienist's Salary

Just as one would find in most jobs, a dental hygienist salary is based upon a number of different variables. The most obvious of these would be location, employment setting and the level of experience in which a dental hygienist may have. Based upon stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a dental hygienist salary fluctuates from the lowest (10% having a salary less than $20.42 per hour) to the highest (10% having a salary more than $43.07 per hour). The middle ground for a basic dental hygienists salary is approximately $31.21 per hour which is roughly $64,910 annually based upon a hygienist that’s working full time.

As mentioned above, there are variables that play a very vital role in the salary of a dental hygienist, one being location. It may sound strange that a person’s salary can be based upon the location of a job, but many factors come into play here. Supply and demand for this service can play a huge part in the average salary for dental hygienist. If there is a lot of demand and very little supply, then a dental hygienist is worth more to the employer and to the patients. The mean standard of living for a city can also come into play. If it costs more for a loaf of bread in your city than it does in a rural location, for example, then that is a good indicator that the salaries of working people are at a higher rate in the city than in the rural location.

Another factor determining the salary of a dental hygienist is qualifications. If the dental hygienist is certified in the field then they are more likely to command a higher salary.

Now we will highlight some of the state salary rates for a dental hygienist.

For some apparent reason, the state of Alaska has the highest dental hygienist salary in the United States with hygienists making roughly $91,960 a year. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that this is almost one million dollars a year. If bonuses and overtime are added to this salary it’s sure to reach that one million dollar threshold. Running a close second would be the state of Washington at $86,920 yearly, then there’s California at $81,730, Nevada at $76,240 and last but not least there’s Oregon at $74,470 a year. Now all these figures are provide by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; however, one has to calculate the cost of living into these figures to determine if a dental hygienist salary is enough to live happily ever after. One should base their decision upon how far that salary will take a family and not primarily upon the amount. The state of California is mentioned in this list and we all should know if you live in the United States that this state has the highest cost of living rate in the entire country. A dental hygienist is going to need every bit of that salary in the state of California; especially at the time in which this article is being written, September 2009.

With that bit of information provided based upon job location, it should be fair to conclude that the salary of a dental hygienist is pretty reasonable and could very well be fully necessary especially when considering the cost of living in a particular state. The salary of dental hygienist is well-deserved. It is not a pleasant job to be cleaning the inside of someone's mouth! Dental hygienist salaries show that this is a good career to go into. The cost of training should be paid off in a short amount of time once work in the field is secured.

Comments 2 comments

Linda 5 years ago

Quote: "Alaska has the highest dental hygienist salary in the United States with hygienists making roughly $91,960 a year. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that this is almost one million dollars a year. If bonuses and overtime are added to this salary it’s sure to reach that one million dollar threshold"

????? This is almost one hundred thousand dollars per year. How are you arriving at a Million? Do you mean gross productivity for the practice, rather than the actual salary of the RDH?


Linda 5 years ago

This is erroneous also:

"If the dental hygienist is certified in the field then they are more likely to command a higher salary."

Dental Hygienists must be certified and licensed in order to practice. We have to complete a program at an accredited college and pass quite rigorous written and clinical examinations, and achieve at least an Associate or Bachelors degree in order to practice. We also have to complete stipulated hours of continuing education each year in order to renew our license. If we move to another State (or province), we must pass those examinations again in the jurisdiction where we want to practice.

Anyone calling themselves a dental hygienist and practicing without certification is breaking the law, and putting the public at risk.

This article is quite misleading.

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