Dental hygiene is a rewarding and highly sought-after profession. Hygienists are responsible for cleaning teeth, examining patients for signs of oral diseases and educating individuals on proper oral health practices and techniques. Those who enjoy working with their hands and have great interpersonal skills can find success in this field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. This is due to an increasing population and a focus on preventive dentistry. If you are interested in pursuing this career path, you should start by earning your associate degree from an accredited program. Then, you will need to pass a clinical and law exam in your state to become licensed as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH).
Upon becoming an RDH, you can expect to earn a competitive salary. You can expect to earn between $76,100 and $89,517 per year in Louisiana, depending on your experience, education and location.
You can find the highest paying jobs for dental hygienists in Louisiana in cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge. These locations pay above the national average for dental hygienist salaries.
Dental hygienists are also employed in other health care settings, such as schools, public health clinics, and hospitals. Some are even able to advance their careers by earning an advanced degree and moving into management or research. However, the vast majority of dental hygienists are still employed in dentists' offices.