Career Advice on How to Become a Dental Hygienist

General Career Information

If you like the idea of cleaning people’s teeth, then the job of dental hygienist might be up your alley. Of course, it doesn’t address the question why you would want to do such a thing, but that is for another conversation altogether. 
If the thought of blasting yourself with tiny airborne particles of food and plaque from people’s teeth turns you on, then there is some good news in your future. The expected rate of growth for dental hygienist is an impressive thirty percent. So keep that job growth rate in mind when doing your career planning or job search. After all, you didn’t think the actual dentists were going to be doing that kind of work, did you?
Dental hygienists can expect to average about $30 per hour, which translates to roughly $60,000 a year. The top ten percent can earn up to $80,000. (But, there is one catch, more on that later…) Of course, the pay is why people consider becoming dental hygienists in the first place. Honestly, how many people enter this career because they actually like the idea of cleaning people’s teeth?

Career Facts:

This fast growing field isn’t just about cleaning teeth. No there is more glory to be had, as dental hygienists also take x-rays, apply or assist with potentially harmful fluoride and metal fillings, and much, much more. You can also expect your friendly neighborhood dental hygienist to remind you that you are an idiot if you do not floss and brush enough, which makes for great fun for one and all.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Excellent:

Who would think that cleaning garbage off of people’s teeth would be such a growth field? But the fact is there will be plenty of jobs for those who are interested. The field of dental hygienists will see an explosive thirty percent growth by 2016. This means that the 167,000 dental hygienists currently working will increase to 217,000 by 2016. Yes, that is a lot of dirty teeth.
Job Outlook is Excellent

A Day in The Life:

The average day begins knowing that you will be hearing the ghastly and awful sound of those hideous drilling and scraping tools. It is a sound so horrible that you will hear it in your nightmares. 
Once at work, you will have little choice but to stare into the mouth of a many a foul beast who has little regard for their personal well-being or dismisses oral health as “something for sissies and not real men.” Upon ending your workday, you will want a nice long shower to wash off the fine mist of human tooth plaque that now covers you.

Average Salary:

While dental hygienist can make on average $60,000 a year, it is not uncommon that they are employed on a part time basis. This of course means they are forced to find more than one job. Obviously, if they cannot find multiple dental offices at which to work, their overall earnings suffer.

$55k - $65k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Dental hygienists usually have degrees from dental hygiene schools or an Associate’s Degree.
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