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Dental Hygienist Salary

Dental Hygienists in the United States are largely women. The group as a whole has a nationwide average of $32.52 per hour for pay. In the world of Dental Hygienists, total cash compensation can vary between $45K and $87K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $2K and $6K, respectively. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and years of experience. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Dental Hygienists. Medical benefits are awarded to more than a third, and more than two-fifths earn dental coverage. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$30,443 - $73,139
(Median)
$30K
$51K
$73K
MEDIAN: $51,353
10%
50%
90%

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$24.21 - $42.19
(Median)
$24
$33
$42
MEDIAN: $32.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$30,443 - $73,139  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,497  
Profit Sharing
$487.96 - $5,842  
Commission
$578 - $19,678  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,342 - $87,174  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 926
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$24.21 - $42.19  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $6.25  
Overtime
$0.00 - $61.13  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,497  
   
Commission
$578 - $19,678  
Profit Sharing
$487.96 - $5,842  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,342 - $87,174  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,903

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Job Description for Dental Hygienist

A Dental Hygienist’s responsibility is to help prevent dental related diseases in their patients. Dental Hygienists will usually work with a certified dentist to meet the oral health concerns of patients. Some basic job responsibilities and tasks include, giving patients routine cleanings in order to remove plaque and other caustic substances from all surfaces of the teeth, testing patients’ teeth for cavities and other abnormalities, assessment of the patient’s health history, applying anesthesia to patients going through surgery, applying different treatments such as fluoride in order to prevent future cavities and diseases, taking and developing dental X-rays in order to assess current and future dental problems, and assisting dentists with their work. It is also the responsibility of a Dental Hygienist to talk to their patients about proper dental care and promote good nutrition habits in order to prevent further dental health problems. Along with these hands on activities, Dental Hygienists also perform general documentation procedures and office management involving their patient’s documented information.

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Dental Hygienist Tasks

  • Record the presence of diseases or abnormalities.
  • Examine patients teeth and gums.
  • Teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Remove soft and hard deposits from teeth.

Common Career Paths for Dental Hygienist


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Dental Hygienists who go on to become Pedodontic Dental Hygienists may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, a Pedodontic Dental Hygienist, an upper-level role, pays $71K. Dental Hygienists most often move into Office Manager of a Dental Office or Registered Nurse roles. However, the former pays $25K less on average, and the latter pays $11K less.

Dental Hygienist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dental Hygienist


Family Dental, Aspen Dental, DDS Inc., Heartland Dental Care, and Dr. Jones are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Dental Hygienists. DDS Inc. does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $93K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $59K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $117K. Pacific Dental Services Incorporated, Gentle Family Dentistry, and Dr. B also offer top salaries for Dental Hygienists. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $76K, $75K, and $71K, respectively.

Salaries are easily beat at Aspen Dental, where median pay comes to just $57K, the lowest in the field. What's more, with base pay starting at $46K and ending at $73K, range in salary is rather small. Workers at Heartland Dental Care, Family Dental Care, and Family Dental also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $68K, $69K, and $69K respectively.

Popular Skills for Dental Hygienist


Dental Hygienists seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in restorative, periodontal therapy, Local Anesthesia, and Pedodontics are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 10 percent and 20 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like anesthetic, Spanish Language, and Orthodontics. Those educated in Patient Education tend to be well versed in Radiology.

Pay by Experience Level for Dental Hygienist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Dental Hygienists, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $61K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $68K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Dental Hygienists make a median salary of $69K. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $72K.

Pay Difference by Location


Seattle is home to an above-average pay rate for Dental Hygienists, 39 percent higher than the national average. Dental Hygienists will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+17 percent), Austin (+17 percent), Portland (+14 percent), and New York (+14 percent). Dental Hygienists in Pittsburgh earn salaries far below the national average by 20 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Dental Hygienist Salaries




National Average
$66,000


Skills That Affect Dental Hygienist Salaries

restorative
up arrow 20%

periodontal therapy
up arrow 13%

Local Anesthesia
up arrow 10%

Pedodontics
up arrow 8%

Cleaning
up arrow 7%

Periodontics
up arrow 4%

Anesthesia
up arrow 4%

Patient Education
up arrow 2%

Radiology
up arrow 1%

Pediatrics
up arrow 1%

National Average
$66,000

nitrous oxide
up arrow 2%

Scaling
up arrow 5%

Orthodontics
up arrow 6%

Spanish Language
up arrow 9%

anesthetic
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 943 votes.

Gender

Female
97 %
Male
3 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 35% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 11% employee benefits None: 43%