2024 Dental Hygienist Salary Guide: What to Expect

Are you looking to build a career in the dental health field? Want to know what does a dental hygienist do, how you can become one, and most importantly how much does a dental hygienist makes?

Well, no matter how rewarding a career is, one cannot dismiss the importance of getting proper compensation for it. The same is the case for the profile of a dental hygienist.

So, if you are thinking of trying out your hand at the dental hygienist job, and want to know the answers to all your questions, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will cover all your questions related to dental hygienists and their income so that you can make an informed decision in your career path.

So, first, let’s begin with the questions,

What does a Dental Hygienist do?

The role of a dental hygienist involves examining the patients for signs of oral health issues, including various teeth and gum diseases. Along with that, they also offer preventive care and educate patients on oral health and hygiene.

How to become a Dental Hygienist?

If you wondering how to become a dental hygiene professional, it’s a pretty simple process. First, you need to get either a bachelor’s or an associate's degree. You can also opt for getting a master’s degree in the same though not many people go down that route.

If you are wondering how long does it takes to become a dental hygienist, not just wearing a doctor's cape and a scrub caps or surgical caps can make a person a professional dental hygienist but it takes around 3 years more or less (if you exclude the master’s).

Post that, you need to take a written and clinical exam to get your license and then you become an RDH, also known as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

How much does a Dental Hygienist make?

If you take a look at the data from the previous years, you will notice that their compensation has been growing in spades. At present time, the national average income for the profile of a dental hygienist lands somewhere around 79, 330 USD dollars.

Do all Dental Hygienists get paid the same everywhere? 

If you are new to the job life, you might not be aware of this. Your salary is not set in stone. It changes depending on various factors which is why the answer to ‘How much does a dental hygienist make?’ is not that straightforward. So, let’s take a look at the factors behind this:

Experience: It’s simple. The more years you have under your belt, the better will be your compensation.

Location: If you are in a place that has a high cost of living, expect better compensation in comparison to the place with has a lower cost of living.

Workplace: If you consider the government or public health sector, you might get lower wages compared to private ones however the additional perks might be better in the former.

Education: Aside from getting a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, getting additional certifications might increase your chances of getting a better dental hygienist salary.

How much does a Dental Hygienist make based on location?

As mentioned above, location is one of the key factors that influences the dental hygienist's salary. Here are the salary amounts for some major locations to help you understand how much a dental hygienist makes based on place:

How to negotiate for your Dental Hygienist's salary?

Remember as we said, your salary is not set in stone. Now that you know how much does a dental hygienist makes in general, it’s time to put your negotiation skills to work.

Here are some tips to follow:

1. Make sure you are prepared. Before going for the negotiation, ensure that you are familiar with the average compensation, as well as the highest income range based on your experience, location, and workplace.

2. To get the fairest and best compensation, you need to show the value you’d be bringing to the table in terms of your skillset, experience, expertise, and achievements.

3. Being polite, and professional and maintaining a good rapport go a long way in getting the job done. So, make sure to brush up your communication skills and interpersonal relationships.


As you must have realized by now, Dental hygienist is a rewarding career path that includes competitive salaries, amazing perks, and benefits, and an opportunity to contribute to a good cause that serves people. 

So, if you are interested in becoming a dental hygienist, we hope that we were able to help you get answers to all your questions to help you make better decisions for your future.

Until next time.

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