Dental hygienists are a valued part of the dental care team and provide essential preventative services, like teeth cleanings and oral exams. These healthcare professionals often work full-time and can earn a very good salary, depending on their experience level and the cost of living in their area. Temp dental hygienist salaries can be quite competitive, as well. Here, we take a look at which states boast the highest dental hygienist wages.
To become a dental hygienist, you will need to complete an associate’s degree in dental hygiene from a certified program. This typically takes 2-3 years to complete and once you’re done, you’ll need to obtain a license in your state to start working. You can find a list of accredited programs on the American Dental Hygienists Association website.
The Northern Arizona University dental hygienist program has earned a national reputation for excellence since its inception in 1973. Students enrolled in this 2-year program will complete four 16-week semesters, a 5-week summer and an externship experience at the Hopi clinic in Polacca, AZ about 2.5 hours away from Flagstaff. NAU also provides faculty-supervised housing and transportation for the duration of the rotation.
The top five states with the highest average dental hygienist salary are Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon and Maryland. The BLS reports that an RDH in the state of Alaska makes $114,320 on average while those in the state of California make $100,830. The salaries in these states are slightly higher than the national average and are worth considering if you are thinking of becoming a hygienist or are looking for a new job opportunity.