Dental Hygienist

What do they do?

  • Remove tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth
  • Apply sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth
  • Take and develop dental x-rays
  • Teach good oral hygiene

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What are the working conditions?

  • Most work in dental offices
  • Work with a team of others
  • They are clean and well lit offices
  • Wear safety glasses, surgical masks, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from diseases
  • May spend long periods of time bending over to work on patients

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What are some physical demands?

  • Have stamina of bending over for long periods of time
  • Have interpersonal skills
  • Be good with hands
  • Be very detail oriented
  • Have good technical skills

What are they required to know and do?

  • Understand how to operate complex machinery, like x-ray machines and instruments

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How do they prepare for this occupation?

  • Must graduate from high school and get a diploma, or GED
  • Go to college for further schooling

What kind of licensing or certification is required?

  • Associates Degree
  • Bachelors Degree

How much money do people in this occupation earn?

  • Median annual wage -$68,250 $32.81/hour
  • Lowest 10%-$15,000
  • Highest 10%- $93,820

How many people are employed in this occupation in Minnesota and nationally?

  • 190,000 employed nationally
  • 2930-4810 employed in Minnesota


  • Advantages:
  1. You work nice hours. Usually 8am-5pm
  2. The demand is great
  3. You get to help people

  • Disadvantages
  1. May get sore from bending over a lot
  2. It's harder to pick up extra hours/shifts
  3. Don't get as good of benefits as other careers might