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Dental Hygienist Continuing Education

Dental Hygienists: Professional Data




Dental Hygienists

The dental hygienist is a rapidly growing occupation according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The BLS notes that hygienists enjoy a highly flexible workweek in term of scheduling stating that more than half of all hygienists work less than 35 hours per week. Dentists often hire hygienists for  2 to 3 days per week.  As a result, many dental hygienists work in more than one location. 

By 2006, the Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited 286 dental hygiene programs and there were approximately 167,000 dental hygienist job positions in the US.  Note that there are fewer hygienists than job positions because dental hygienists often work at more than one location.  The BLS estimates that the number of job positions will grow by 30 percent by the year 2016.  The median income is over $30 per hour and the average salary is approximately $62,500.  The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) will host their annual convention on June 18-25, 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dental Assistants

The US Dept. of Labor estimates that there were 280,000 dental assistant jobs in 2006 in the US.  While most work full-time, approximately 35 percent work part-time.