Dental Hygienist

Job Careers

What do Dental Hygienist do?

Dental Hygienist help people by telling patients how to brush and floss their teeth the proper way. They also tell you the best over-the-counter product to use. They also are the ones who cleaned off the stains, tarter, and plague.

Salary's and Benifits

Hygienists make a comfortable salary, especially considering that most of those in the profession work part-time. In 2011, their median salary was $69,280. The best-paid earned $94,850, and the bottom 10 percent earned $46,020. Many of the top-paid hygienists work in dentists’ offices, but outpatient care centers and ambulatory health care services also pay well. (


Most in this profession have earned an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. And increasingly, students are pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees to further their career. “There’s even a movement to create a doctoral program for dental hygiene,” says ADHA President Pam Quinones. Following your formal education, it’s preferable to receive some practical experience (like an internship) in a dental office to become better-versed on the job’s day-to-day responsibilities and challenges. Finally, you must receive licensure from the state in which you’ll work. (

Working Conditions

Dental hygienists provide clinical services in a variety of settings such as private dental practice, community health settings, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, schools, faculty practice clinics, state and federal government facilities and Indian reservations. In addition to clinical practice, there are career opportunities in education, research, sales and marketing, public health, administration and government. Some hygienists combine positions in different settings and career paths for professional variety. Working in education and clinical practice is an example.

Flexible work hours can be a feature of this profession, with some hygienists working full-time, others part-time. (

Pros and Cons

Pro: You will probably not have to work nights or weekends, Pro: You might have the opportunity to work part-time, if you wished.

Con : It requires 2 to 4 years of education, Con: It requires repetitive tasks.


Promotion Opportunities

Entry-level hygienists will work doing patient examinations and cleaning procedures at a dentist’s office. Many experienced hygienists will do the same work. Because of this, advancement is difficult. The best way to gain more responsibilities is to continue pursing education in dental hygiene, such as gaining a bachelor’s degree. Those who obtain a master’s degree in the subject can be found in many different workplaces, such as educational institutions or corporations. (