California RDH salary

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Windy in Media, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

NHealy06 in Revere, Massachusetts said: I am moving to California in the summer and I heard that on average, a RDH in California gets paid $40-$50 per hour. After reading some blogs I'm getting mixed messages. Does anyone mind sharing their salaries or letting me know if $40-$50 per hour is realistic? I have only been licensed for 6 months (graduated hygiene school in May) and I make $38 per hour in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dear Colleague,
i have been in practice for close to 40 years and have more experience under my belt than you would want to know. Firstly - are you a member of ADHA? If you aren't you need to be. Find the nearest local component in Boston and in CA where you will be moving to and go - Immediately. Salaries in CA will be all over the map depending on your specialty skills - experience with local anesthesia administration and pain management specialty services and your ability to handle complex perio-pros cases. Additionally there is a movement in CA regarding RDH's and lasers. I do not agree with laser use and there is nothing in the literature that offers solid safety and efficacy guidelines, except what the laser manufacturers proport. It is my understanding that the hygienists who work on commission in CA can pump their salaries way up based upon the commission perks if they are promoting use of lasers. Take this advice of mine for what it may be - I am on the east coast -Philadelphia- to be specific. I wish you well and thank you for joining our profession. Please e-mail me personally to let me now that you got this mail. Windworksstudio@yahoo.com. Thank you. Professionally Yours Beverly

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Nicole in Newton Center, Massachusetts

51 months ago

@fustratedrdh-ARE YOU SERIOUS?!? Why would they do such a thing? Thank you for notifying me. How was it retaking boards, extra classes, etc.? I have called San Fransisco City College numerous times to get the details in order but no one seems to know the exact dates of when the classes are starting up again, and they keep rushing me off the phone saying to call back in a couple of months. I know they are sometime in September, but I need to know the exact dates and costs so I can plan ahead of time because I am going to be living in Vista, CA which is 7 hours away from the continuing education college (Sacramento City College) that offers the courses. This means that I will have to drive 7 hours from Vista to Sacramento and stay at a hotel just to take the classes. I also heard that we need to provide our own patients for the classes which will be another problem. Did you take your classes at Sacramento? Can you please email me for more clarification?
My email is NRHEALY@HOTMAIL.COM. Again, thank you so much for notifying me!

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e kazi in Fremont, California

51 months ago

NHealy06 in Revere, Massachusetts said: I am moving to California in the summer and I heard that on average, a RDH in California gets paid $40-$50 per hour. After reading some blogs I'm getting mixed messages. Does anyone mind sharing their salaries or letting me know if $40-$50 per hour is realistic? I have only been licensed for 6 months (graduated hygiene school in May) and I make $38 per hour in Boston, Massachusetts.

50-55 per hour is what you can expect in the SF Bay Area. I think it's about the same in LA.

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

51 months ago

NHealy06 in Revere, Massachusetts said: I am moving to California in the summer and I heard that on average, a RDH in California gets paid $40-$50 per hour. After reading some blogs I'm getting mixed messages. Does anyone mind sharing their salaries or letting me know if $40-$50 per hour is realistic? I have only been licensed for 6 months (graduated hygiene school in May) and I make $38 per hour in Boston, Massachusetts.

Don't be motivated by wages. Yes, it is true that in the Bay area (specifically in the city) the hygienists can earn $50-55 an hour, but consider just how high the cost of living is in San Francisco. A studio apartment for $1300? 475 sq feet and no bedroom? Southern California wages are a bit less, $45-50 an hour, but the job market in both regions is pretty tough right now. GL

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Nicole in Revere, Massachusetts

51 months ago

Thank you. Do you know of any good search engines for finding jobs? Since winter the market on Craigslist has gone way down and that's what I have been using. I won't be able to start working until November or December after I take the October clinical boards and get re-certified for California. Are there good temp agencies or job placement agencies in California?

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

51 months ago

Nicole in Revere, Massachusetts said: Thank you. Do you know of any good search engines for finding jobs? Since winter the market on Craigslist has gone way down and that's what I have been using. I won't be able to start working until November or December after I take the October clinical boards and get re-certified for California. Are there good temp agencies or job placement agencies in California?

Craigslist is the most popular source for jobs ads in the Bay area and So Cal uses it as well. The employers like it because it's cheap. An alternative is permanent placement through an agency, but since the DDS has to pay such a high commission to the agency, it's not that common. As you've seen yourself, it's slim pickings out there. As far as temp agencies, there are some, but they aren't getting too many calls for RDH. Mainly DA and front office. Which region are you going to focus on?

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Nicole in Newton Center, Massachusetts

51 months ago

I am going to be living in Vista, CA which is the northern San Diego region. My husband is in the Marine Corps stationed on Camp Pendleton. The furthest I plan to commute to work is 1 hour. I am really worried about getting my Cali RDH license because I will need to find at least 3 patient's for the nitrous oxide course, gingival curretage course, and clinical board. Do you think craigslist is a good way to find patients? When I was in hygiene school I had no problem finding patients because I lived on campus and just targeted people in the dorms, cafe, and sports teams. My husband and I are new to California so we don't really know anyone oether than his military friends who are all up to date with their cleanings, and won't meet the clinical board requirements.

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

51 months ago

Nicole in Newton Center, Massachusetts said: I am really worried about getting my Cali RDH license because I will need to find at least 3 patient's for the nitrous oxide course, gingival curretage course, and clinical board. Do you think craigslist is a good way to find patients? When I was in hygiene school I had no problem finding patients because I lived on campus and just targeted people in the dorms, cafe, and sports teams.

I lived in Rancho Bernardo, so I know exactly where you will be. Craigslist might work, but there are some concerns about how to screen them and possible security issues. I keep reading about gals getting assaulted when meeting up with Craigslist posters. Ideally you need to have access to a dental office or clinic to screen the candidates. I like the idea of using colleges for recruitment. San Marcos (10 minutes away) has two; Palomar Community College and California State University San Marcos. I also have a good friend who has a dental office in Escondido that takes Medi-Cal (California's state run dental program). I'm certain that some of his patients would qualify for your needs (especially since Medi-Cal has discontinued adult services). When will you be moving out? It might be possible for you to touch base with him and see if he might help send some qualified candidates your way. Regarding the temporary agencies, my favorite in San Diego was SDDPS (San Diego Dental Personnel Service). The owner is Alison Jones and the RDH coordinator is Tamra. Hope this helps.

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Nicole in Newton Center, Massachusetts

51 months ago

Yes this does help a lot!!! I am willing to pay anyone who qualifies for the clinical boards to be my patient. Finding a dental clinic to screen patients is another issue I have that has been stressing me out. I am moving out August 3rd. Do you think your friend would allow me to use his clinic to screen any canidates he may have?

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

51 months ago

It's possible, but your clinical boards will be in Sacramento, right? Not too convenient for travel, and in California the board patient often gets food/accommodation and some extra $ for the trouble. What a logistical nightmare for an out of state RDH to coordinate all that. When are the Sacramento classes offered?

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Nicole in Newton Center, Massachusetts

51 months ago

There is actually a clinical board on October 24th at Loma Linda University which is about 1.5 hours away. Still pretty far, but A LOT closer than the Sacramento clinical. However, I will still need to take my classes in Sacramento before I can even consider taking the clinical. I have called Sacramento City College numerous times to find out when the classes are offered, but they cannot give me an exact date. They say they will start in early September, but keep rushing me off the phone to "call back in a couple of months" for exact dates. This is very fustrating because registration for clinical is June 9th- August 9th and the application for clinicals says that the applicant must have credits for the nitrous oxide, gingival curretage, and local anesthesia courses completed prior to registering. I will not be able to take the classes and complete the credits until September, which is a month after registration. I think I need some kind of waiver form. It is a nightmare trying to call all these schools and boards because the people rush me off the phone and the only ones who actually take the time and are willing to help are hygienists like you!

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

51 months ago

Loma Linda is close enough for the state board, but the classes in Sac are going to be a pain. I see that there used to be a number of colleges offering the board approved classes, and now just SCC? That's really inconvenient and I guess there's a problem with the Law and Ethics exam, although I'm sure they will resolve that pretty quickly. It's much easier if you have 5 years in the field. I was worried about moving out of state just because of the fees that they charge, but with 10 years of experience, chances are I could practice with reciprocity.

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txrdhmoving2ca in Corpus Christi, Texas

48 months ago

frustratedrdh in Vallejo, California said: Good Luck on getting your hygiene license in California. As of right now, they have suspended the Law and Ethics exam so NO ONE can get a license. i moved here with an out of state license, had to retake boards, extra classes, etc!check it out on the DHCC website.

Looking online to see what I need to get licensed in CA. Currently licensed in TX with 4yrs experience, moving to So. Cali August 3rd. I'm licensed through the WREB, but need local and curretage along with ethics, already licensed in N20, any clue if it carries from state to state?

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erin in Sacramento, California

45 months ago

I make 40 per hour in Sacramento and I am the only hygienist in the office. I used to get a nice pension but it has turned into a 401k. I have been in my office for 7 years. I work 5 days a week, but the hygiene schedule is 50% down. (end of the year, relying solely on referrals, and economy) I used to get paid for the whole day if one or two patients didn't show. Now I get paid for only the people I see, anesthetic for the Dr., and a little time calling patients to try and get them in. We receive an application a week for hygiene and they are all more qualified then me. Most of the applicants have bachelor degrees, front office and assisting experience, and experience with technology. Some applicants had business degrees, were hygiene teachers, and managers in previous fields. Jobs are tough to find right now. I'm sorry if that seems negative. I don't meen to be. It's just my experience. I hope other hygienists can speak differently. Btw, if you need a patient for your nitrous and anesthetic classes in Sacramento, you can email me.

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NicolexO in Vista, California

45 months ago

erin in Sacramento, California said: I make 40 per hour in Sacramento and I am the only hygienist in the office. I used to get a nice pension but it has turned into a 401k. I have been in my office for 7 years. I work 5 days a week, but the hygiene schedule is 50% down. (end of the year, relying solely on referrals, and economy) I used to get paid for the whole day if one or two patients didn't show. Now I get paid for only the people I see, anesthetic for the Dr., and a little time calling patients to try and get them in. We receive an application a week for hygiene and they are all more qualified then me. Most of the applicants have bachelor degrees, front office and assisting experience, and experience with technology. Some applicants had business degrees, were hygiene teachers, and managers in previous fields. Jobs are tough to find right now. I'm sorry if that seems negative. I don't meen to be. It's just my experience. I hope other hygienists can speak differently. Btw, if you need a patient for your nitrous and anesthetic classes in Sacramento, you can email me.

Erin, do you know if hygienist's are getting paid only for the patients they see in all of California, or is it like that just in your area? I just moved here from Boston, Massachusetts where there were plenty of jobs. I've never heard of only getting paid for the patients you see and I don't like that idea at all. I am living in the San Diego area right now. I moved here because I thought hygienist's make a lot more money, but it seems the job market is a lot worse here than in Massachusetts. I went through a lot of trouble to get my license with the soft tissue curettage, nitrous, and clinical re-take. I am just waiting on my law & ethics exam, but it seems like I went through all this trouble for nothing because the job market is really slow. Do you know if the temp agencies are slow too?

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HBWrdh in Danville, California

45 months ago

NicolexO in Vista, California said: I've never heard of only getting paid for the patients you see and I don't like that idea at all. I am living in the San Diego area right now. I moved here because I thought hygienist's make a lot more money, but it seems the job market is a lot worse here than in Massachusetts. I went through a lot of trouble to get my license with the soft tissue curettage, nitrous, and clinical re-take. I am just waiting on my law & ethics exam, but it seems like I went through all this trouble for nothing because the job market is really slow. Do you know if the temp agencies are slow too?

California has been really hit hard by the recession. We have one of the highest unemployment rates, nationwide. Dentistry has been affected like everything else, and more because many feel dental care is a discretionary expense. Hardly ranks up there with rent and food! Many dentists are responding by cutting back days, cutting their hygiene staff, and if they keep the hygienist, either asking them to take pay cuts or clock out for missed patients. If the day falls apart, they tell the hygienist to lose the day and they don't call the agency. As a result, temp agencies are slow too. The dentist doesn't want the expense of a referral fee. With hit and miss schedules, it's easier to move the patients. Jobs are few and far between here in the Bay area. Sacramento looks just as bad according to Craigslist.

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Melissa in San Diego, California

44 months ago

I just got my license here in California and I had a question about CE. I do NOT have to take any CE for two years. Also, if I took an online course for 4 units would they count for 4 units or 2? The definition is hard to understand. Thanks.

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exp in Newmarket, New Hampshire

44 months ago

Melissa in San Diego, California said: I just got my license here in California and I had a question about CE. I do NOT have to take any CE for two years. Also, if I took an online course for 4 units would they count for 4 units or 2? The definition is hard to understand. Thanks.

Speak with someone at the Dental Board in the DH dept., or you could ask another DH maybe where you work. All states are not in sync with this , so you'll have to ask til you find the correct answer. GL

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kemma94 in San Diego, California

42 months ago

OMG...I just read this all from the past 8 months and I am freaking. I just moved to Cali from upstate NY due to my husband's job and I am in the process of getting my license. I have 11 years experience and been licensed in two previous states. I have scheduled the STC class in February which is what I am "short" on for getting my license via verification. I am paying Sacramento City College a fee that I am disgusted about since there is no clinical or scientific evidence that states or shows that soft tissue currettage provides benefits to the patient done alone or along with SRP. The ADA even took the code off the billing....so why does Cali want the RDH license here to have a seperate license to do this? Does any hygienist out there actually tell their patient's this is a procedure that they are going to do and do it accordingly? Just curious! I know the economy is hard but this is not an ethical way to get money. Not only is the class a major expense...I now read that the job market is tough. That is what I am nervous about. Anyone out there in San Diego area need my name and number to temp for you incase you are ill or need some time off...let me know because I fear word of mouth is going to be the only way to get a job in this state. I would be happy filling in for you all all the time. Thanks everyone!

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kksand@yahoo.com in San Diego, California

42 months ago

kemma94 in San Diego, California said: OMG...I just read this all from the past 8 months and I am freaking. I just moved to Cali from upstate NY due to my husband's job and I am in the process of getting my license. I have 11 years experience and been licensed in two previous states. I have scheduled the STC class in February which is what I am "short" on for getting my license via verification. I am paying Sacramento City College a fee that I am disgusted about since there is no clinical or scientific evidence that states or shows that soft tissue currettage provides benefits to the patient done alone or along with SRP. The ADA even took the code off the billing....so why does Cali want the RDH license here to have a seperate license to do this? Does any hygienist out there actually tell their patient's this is a procedure that they are going to do and do it accordingly? Just curious! I know the economy is hard but this is not an ethical way to get money. Not only is the class a major expense...I now read that the job market is tough. That is what I am nervous about. Anyone out there in San Diego area need my name and number to temp for you incase you are ill or need some time off...let me know because I fear word of mouth is going to be the only way to get a job in this state. I would be happy filling in for you all all the time. Thanks everyone!

Kemma, I did not realize there were classes in Feb! Did you have to do the private classes? I am signed up for the April classes and am already super nervous about finding patients! The expense for travel, classes, patients, etc. is nuts....I have 10 years of experience and have been through a move like this before, but it was not nearly as difficult to obtain my license!! I was also surprised about having to take the STC classes...please email me if you come across this. I am in San Diego as well and would like a fellow RDH to talk to.

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Nikkie in Vista, California

42 months ago

kksand@yahoo.com in San Diego, California said: Kemma, I did not realize there were classes in Feb! Did you have to do the private classes? I am signed up for the April classes and am already super nervous about finding patients! The expense for travel, classes, patients, etc. is nuts....I have 10 years of experience and have been through a move like this before, but it was not nearly as difficult to obtain my license!! I was also surprised about having to take the STC classes...please email me if you come across this. I am in San Diego as well and would like a fellow RDH to talk to.

I'm from Massachusetts and I took the classes in September. It was very un-organized. We got out hours early some of the days which made me mad because we were all paying for hotel rooms. I would have rather stayed in class all day for one weekend instead of flying back and forth three different weekends, paying for hotel rooms and getting out of class early. The classes are really EASY and laid back. You're right, STC is not even practiced in offices. I asked the instructors if they bill out for it and they said no, most offices don't do it including the offices they were currently working in. A lot of the girls found their patients on campus, or we shared patients. You can share a patient with another classmate, just not with your partner that you're paired up with. I let another RDH use two of my patients that I flew up from SD. It is all a waste of money and waste of time in my opinion, just another way for the DHCC to make more money & keep out-of-state hygienist's from working in CA.

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kksand@yahoo.com in San Diego, California

42 months ago

Nikkie, do you know if they counted those classed towards the CEUs needed? I have my CEUs, but out of state and have to be approved, which hopefully is not such a big deal. I feel so much better after what you typed about the classes being laid back. Are the online tests very difficult? I am going to start studying this upcoming week. I have gone through the material, but have not really read it in detail yet. Also, do you know if we can take the fmx there at the school or do I need to pay for an exam/fmx at a local dental office. How did you find your patients in SD? Also, did you rent a car? Trying to figure out where I need to stay and how far from campus I will be. Such a headache! Thanks for responding though....very helpful

I am going to look into ordering my instruments this upcoming month as well...that is another thing that is nuts! I wish they just had instrument cassettes we could rent!

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Nikkie in Vista, California

42 months ago

The classes count for between 30-40 CEU's. The online tests were really EASY. You are allowed to retake the test one time, and the questions are all the same the second time around! The multiple choice just might be out of order. I had the test questions open as I was listening to the online lecture, so I could just fill in the answer when it came up in the lecture since there is no time limit to the test. There is also an outline/powerpoint for each test, so you can find a lot of the answers in that.
YOU DON'T EVEN NEED AN FMX!!!! They made us take bitewings only! I was worried about that too! I don't know why they get us all worried about taking an FMX on each patient when they just want 4 bitewings! You don't have to pay for the bitewings, and you don't need an exam either.
The patients don't have to fit any criteria (unless they're contraindicated for nitrous) so you can use pretty much anybody with teeth for the STC. All my patients were healthy, with 2-3 or 2-4mm pockets & mild bleeding/inflammation.
I stayed at the Romana and it was only like $54 a night, the cheapest I could find. I did rent a car, and the Romana was only like 10-15mins away from the school.
My husband is military and got stationed in Camp Pendleton, which is the reason I moved to California from Massachusetts. I used him and two of his friends. A lot of the girls found students on campus walking around, or in the cafeteria. If you find a patient on campus you might have to pay them. My friend paid hers $20.

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julienicole74

42 months ago

Kksand in San Diego- I'm in Riverside and am having to take classes in Sacramento for the April, May session. I will be driving each weekend and would like to share the gas expense and wear and tear on the vehicle if you would like to ride or drive with me for the first two weekends. I'm posting my e-mail if you would like to contact me- julienicole74@yahoo.com

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julie in riverside

42 months ago

Kksand in San Diego- I'm in Riverside and am having to take classes in Sacramento for the April, May session. I will be driving each weekend and would like to share the gas expense and wear and tear on the vehicle if you would like to ride or drive with me for the first two weekends. I'm posting my e-mail if you would like to contact me- julienicole74@yahoo.com

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julie in riverside

42 months ago

Sorry, didn't mean to post twice, oops.

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kksand@yahoo.com in San Diego, California

42 months ago

julie in riverside said: Sorry, didn't mean to post twice, oops.

Nickie - thanks so much for all of the information! Why did you have to do a clinical re-take? Are you talking about having to take WERB? I thought I had read that you did not have to take the WERB if you are obtaining you license by credential? Sorry for all of the questions! I really do appreciate you being so helpful with all of your information! I know a few people that either have friends or family in Sacramento, so hope I can get a patient that way. I do feel better knowing that you said finding patients on campus is easy. The packet included a guideline for finding patients and it had a list of items that would qualify a patient. After reading your posts, I feel so much better!

Julie, I will let you know about driving. As of now, I was planning on flying, but I do not have any definitive plans. Thanks!

Kirin

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susan in Rocklin, California

42 months ago

I just move to Rocklin CA. from Scottsdale Arizona. I was wondering if any is out in this area who knows what the going pay rate is here? I was going to drop my resume of to some dentists around where I live to do some temp work. I am a stay at home mom who just wants a few days a week. If any one knows what the jobs are like here that would be very helpful.
Thanks,
Susan

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Donna in Canyon Country, California

42 months ago

I've been a sucessfully employed hygienist in Southern California for 27 years. It's interesting to read this thread. I do love this profession! Permit me some advice.
As you navigate the confounding process of becoming licensed in CA please help us all by doing-and telling your colleagues-to do the following:
1. Join ADHA and your component ASAP, go to meetings, and network with other professionals in your area. Best jobs are word of mouth.
RDH compensation is going down, there are more hygiene schools out there than ever before, more corporate-run practices and the job market is bleak.
2. If you are granted an interview or a chance for employment, do not undercut the other RDH's. It's still the wild west. Find out what they make and do not take less.
Some Employers can and will take advantage of any uninformed eager to work RDH, to the detriment of the rest of the staff. You should be making at least 50-60.00 an hour, 400-450/day, 50% straight commission, or a serious plan to get where the others are. There are also base salaries with commission on top for SRP's/x-rays/restorative sold. Get it in writing. Benefits are scarce.
You are also NOT an independent contractor unless you really qualify-so don't fall for that one either. They just don't want to pay taxes on you. This is a great state in which to be a dental hygienist! Good Luck to all.

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Samantha B. in Winthrop, Massachusetts

41 months ago

Does anybody know if they offer classes in SCC any other time of the yr besides April-May. I haven't mailed my appication to CA yet and still need to get finger prints done ( will fly from MA to CA this Thurs for it ) but i'm so worried not making it on time for April-May classes in Sacramento and dont want it want untill next APril- any feed back will be helpful!

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Samantha B. in Winthrop, Massachusetts

41 months ago

Nikkie in Vista, California said: I'm from Massachusetts and I took the classes in September. It was very un-organized. We got out hours early some of the days which made me mad because we were all paying for hotel rooms. I would have rather stayed in class all day for one weekend instead of flying back and forth three different weekends, paying for hotel rooms and getting out of class early. The classes are really EASY and laid back. You're right, STC is not even practiced in offices. I asked the instructors if they bill out for it and they said no, most offices don't do it including the offices they were currently working in. A lot of the girls found their patients on campus, or we shared patients. You can share a patient with another classmate, just not with your partner that you're paired up with. I let another RDH use two of my patients that I flew up from SD. It is all a waste of money and waste of time in my opinion, just another way for the DHCC to make more money & keep out-of-state hygienist's from working in CA.

Hi Nikki, do they offer classes in Sep. too or did you pay for private instru-?

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Emma in San Diego, California

41 months ago

I would suggest that you just give them a call and ask. They are the only school in the state that offers the extra classes to obtain your license. I just went through the one day course for soft tissue currettage and they pretty much try to set a date that is convenient for you and an instructor. There turned out to be four girls all together doing the course the day I did it. They are pretty laid back and are there to help you. The instructors where great. And Fredricka (who heads the continue ed at SCC)never answers her phone but always seemed to call me back the same day I left a message. I am sure they have more classes offered than just the April-May but they are spread apart....I heard through the grapevine that there are about 30 people signed up for the classs in April-May. I had two patients and they also let us use sites on each other. They said that finding patients on campus might be hard for us. I totally aree about the entire practicing of STC but after going to the course, I can see why you might do it....but still disagree with the "charging for the procedure) which I find that no one does.....I moved here from upstate NY and I am now "hopefully" awaiting the arrival of my license in the mail any day now. Good luck to you!

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Samantha B. in Winthrop, Massachusetts

41 months ago

Emma in San Diego, California said: I would suggest that you just give them a call and ask. They are the only school in the state that offers the extra classes to obtain your license. I just went through the one day course for soft tissue currettage and they pretty much try to set a date that is convenient for you and an instructor. There turned out to be four girls all together doing the course the day I did it. They are pretty laid back and are there to help you. The instructors where great. And Fredricka (who heads the continue ed at SCC)never answers her phone but always seemed to call me back the same day I left a message. I am sure they have more classes offered than just the April-May but they are spread apart....I heard through the grapevine that there are about 30 people signed up for the classs in April-May. I had two patients and they also let us use sites on each other. They said that finding patients on campus might be hard for us. I totally aree about the entire practicing of STC but after going to the course, I can see why you might do it....but still disagree with the "charging for the procedure) which I find that no one does.....I moved here from upstate NY and I am now "hopefully" awaiting the arrival of my license in the mail any day now. Good luck to you!

Thank u Emma!
How about Nitrious oxide and loc anesth classes? I have been licensed to administer loc anesth in MA fro 4 yrs now and I am wondering if they accept my license in CA.

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smile.keeper@verizon.net in Murrieta, California

40 months ago

I am a Hygienist in Murrieta, Ca. I worked for a few years until my sons were born and haven't worked for a few years since. I have been reluctant to put renenter the job market since I am aware of how hard it has been hit by the recession. Taking a few years off to raise kids makes me afraid that employers may think I'm out of touch with the industry. Although I have always stayed up on my education. Does anyone have any advice for a reluctant hygienist who would love to be back in the field.

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Windy in Wallingford, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

Dear Smile keeper, Just get out there and start making some smiles. Go do it and get past the short break in practice. Enjoy what you deserve. From Windy in Wallyworld, PA - 36 years of teaching research and private practice and still burning rubber.

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FlossBoss in Oceanside, California

40 months ago

The American Dental Hygiene Association has finally realized that there are too many private hygiene schools graduating too many hygienists who cannot find jobs in this country.
Go to their website and download the appropriate letter and mail it to those responsible for this mess.

www.adha.org/news/CODA_campaign.htm

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Samantha B. in Malden, Massachusetts

38 months ago

What is the job market like these days? Any improvement? Got my licnese but a little afraid of moving due to recession- any advise?

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Sarah in Los Angeles, California

38 months ago

Samantha B. in Malden, Massachusetts said: What is the job market like these days? Any improvement? Got my licnese but a little afraid of moving due to recession- any advise?

Job market continues on a downward trip here. The wages which used to be the highest in the nation have dropped to 350 a day and below in this area in general. Some lucky RDH's are still getting over 400. Many experience RDH's are looking for work and alsp new grads. Nor does it help that they continue to open private dh mill schools that graduate 3 or more classes a year. West Coast University had a class graduate this past April and will have another class graduating this Aug. AND ANOTHER CLASS graduating this fall. Its hilarious how some people on this board seem to think that schools like these are not the reason that there are no jobs and wages are falling. Schools like these have turned the hygiene field into a joke.

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smurf6irl in San Francisco, California

38 months ago

Donna, I do agree with you that Employers can and will take advantage of any uninformed eager to work RDH, but making at least 50-60 per hr or 400-450 /day in the state of CA (the few states with the lowest employment rate), is that even possible? Or did you get that rate from raises over the years? (At least the good yrs? )

I have been on craigslist for a year now looking for a job. At the moment, I'm simply temping. Temp usually pays $415 - $425 in SJ to SF area. Do we go by the temp price at a job offer? But what if you have 3 years of experience?

Also Does anyone know what is the avg day rate or hourly rate for a hygienist who is a new grad in CA?

How much are hygienist getting paid in S. CA vs N. Cal?

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Katrina Klein in Sacramento, California

37 months ago

I'm in Sacramento CA and I've had my license for 3 years and have 11 years of dental experience. I by some miracle am emplyed 2 permanent days a week and temp where I can. I make $50/hr- which is very high for this area. The few jobs that become avail are about $42-45 and are temp days. I have been searching for the last 2 years for more work and there simply isn't any.
I graduated from a RDH mill but if I could do it all over I wouldn't go to one because my resume is thrown in the trash at most offices for that reason I'm told by many front ofc people that the Dr won't consider anyone from a vocational school. It doesn't matter that I got straight A's, graduated at the top of my class and passed both boards with flying colors. DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKE!!! It matters where you get your education from - especially when there are NO jobs to be found.
As for new grads...chaulk this one up as a lesson learned and go back to school for a different profession. No joke. The salaries are steadily decreasing due to new grads walking in saying "I'll take $30 and hour and work a 40 min schedule." What work is out there is going to a friend of a friend.
If I sound bitter, well maybe I am. I love my job (great coworkers, patients and boss) and I'm very lucky to have it but feel like I got duped into a go nowhere, low security job where there's no benefits, vacation, sick, holidays or retirement...and got handed a $80k bill at the end. Needless to say, I'm applying for nursing school for the fall.

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FlossBoss in Oceanside, California

37 months ago

smurf6irl in San Francisco, California said:
Also Does anyone know what is the avg day rate or hourly rate for a hygienist who is a new grad in CA?

How much are hygienist getting paid in S. CA vs N. Cal?

I left the San Francisco Bay area and moved to the San Diego area nine years ago and I am still not earning as much as I did there. Most dentists do not pay more for "experience or education", they only care about daily production goals, so a new hire or a recent grad can make as much as the other hygienists at an office unless they accept a lower wage out of desperation (which is what is happening now). This is why most dentists tell employees not to tell each other how much they make.
Any hygienist in the San Diego area really making over $50/hr should count themselves very very lucky. In California, the cost of living is pretty high so that high wage doesn't mean you are living on caviar and driving a BMW like so many out of state hygienists think. There are more hygienists here than there are available positions and it is getting worse as the new schools are producing more and more new graduates who are searching everywhere for jobs as hygienists. And unless you seeing patients every half an hour in a corporate run prophy mill, forget about benefits and 401K pensions.

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Kelly3566 in Dagsboro, Delaware

37 months ago

If I could do it over again, I would NOT become a hygienist. There are a shortage of drs not hygienists, so it's not easy to find a job--especially with benefits. I regret it 100%. :(

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2thclenr in San Diego, California

37 months ago

I LOVE being a hygienist. Yes it is difficult to find a job in California. I recently moved here in December....Yes I had to go through the verification process and yes I had to take the classes that California requires to be licensed in their state. Yes that expense was all out of pocket. I was determined and got my license in March. I then worked with a temp agency and was officially hired in June. And it was not through a dentist I worked with while at the temp agency. I did go on many interviews. I was interviewing them, not them just interviewing me. I did not buckle when I had a doctor say he had an interviewee say they would take $35 an hour. I let him know that that is not my expectation and stood firm with my desired amount. We set up a working interview (which I recommend know matter where you live) and then decided I didn't want to work with someone who didn't valve what I was there to do so I declined the job offer. I am not sure if I am just few of the lucky bunch but I did it!! Stay positive girls! I have been licensed and worked in three different states. New York and California being two of them. If you don't love what you do and embrace challenges that are set before you and then go conquer the s*** out of them, then maybe one should look for another career. I use to view being a hygienist the perfect job with no worries....I walk in and my job starts...I walk out and my job stops. But that is not the case now days. I challenge you all that feel so negative about the hygiene field to grasp what has been delivered to you, look for your determination and conquer. Pump up your personality and look up the latest delivery of periodontal information. It is changing and if you are on top of the game...you will succeed. I am just writing this because all the comments have been more towards the negative side and it saddens me because after 18 years being in the dental field with 11+ being hygiene....I still love it!! Good luck to you all

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liz0007 in Lebanon, Tennessee

37 months ago

I love your respone 2thclenr. I'm glad you made a negative statement into a positive one. Instead of saying "Ahh no JOBS GIVE UP" you said it was difficult but it was something that you loved. I'm also glad you stayed firm at the pay.

If only other hygienists were like that on this forum/board

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smurf6irl in San Francisco, California

37 months ago

Thank you FLOSSBOSS, I appreciate your reply. I see. so experience or education does not count, only production. Does anyone know what is the avg production for a RDH/ day?

I believe an avg production for a hygienist is about 1500/ day (thats 8 prophys at $110 and 4 BWs at $79 = $1,196 . of course adding up to 1500 if there are SRP) Does the Dr's exam count as your production or his?

NEW GRADS, how much are you being paid by your dentist?

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KatrinaKlein in Elk Grove, California

37 months ago

smurf6irl in San Francisco, California said: Thank you FLOSSBOSS, I appreciate your reply. I see. so experience or education does not count, only production. Does anyone know what is the avg production for a RDH/ day?

I believe an avg production for a hygienist is about 1500/ day (thats 8 prophys at $110 and 4 BWs at $79 = $1,196 . of course adding up to 1500 if there are SRP) Does the Dr's exam count as your production or his?

NEW GRADS, how much are you being paid by your dentist?

Unfortunately, education matters but only in getting a job, not as part of your salary... as for your salary, most offices are on an hourly rate and NOT production. If you get pay based on production it's whatever YOU produce so the Dr's exams are not included. Also, a prophy in the Sac area is about $90 so be aware of the UCR of wherever you are planning to work. New grads (who don't go in out of desperation and accept whatever they can get) make the same as a RDH working for 15 years. The difference is those who've been there since the days when RDH's could get benes will have them in addition to their salary and those who are newer to the field will almost never see them.

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KatrinaKlein in Elk Grove, California

37 months ago

I'm glad you stuck you your guns about your salary as I have. That's the only way we'll be able to maintain the salary we deserve and are accustomed to. Unfortunately there are a lot out there who are desperate and doing what they feel they have to do to secure a position, any position and it's ruining it for the rest of us. I agree with staying positive but I'm also a realist. I'm not going to sugar coat the issues when there are people who are asking what's really going on out here. They need to know that the chance that they'll find work is very slim - regardless of if they are on top of their game and up to date on their knowledge! It's supply and demand. I can see that I'm not alone in that if someone would've told me that I'd end up $80k in debt, no benes or retirement and without a decent chance for a secure job I would've chosen more wisely. Don't mistake my realism with negativity. I LOVE being a RDH! I take great pride in keeping up and going above and beyond what is required for continuing ed. I feel like my career is gratifying and I know I'm helping people. I also love to sing and dance but I wouldn't borrow $80 to attempt to become a professional singer or dancer.

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tcarlyle in Springfield, Missouri

37 months ago

I am taking boards in California (at UCI) on 7/23. Someone recently told me that the surfaces of the teeth are referred to in different ways, and I am scared I won't be able to answer questions appropriately. Has anyone heard about the different names for surfaces? My license is from Missouri, and I haven't worked as a RDH in over a year, because I moved to Cali. Help!! Any other tips about taking boards in SoCal would be very helpful, I hear it's really hard and "they" don't really like out of state applicants. Thanks!! also, if anyone can direct me to any other forums about this ~ I would appreciate it. TCarlyle (torey)

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FlossBoss in Oceanside, California

37 months ago

I didn't think we called the surfaces different than in other states.....buccal/facial....lingual...occlusal...mesial....distal??

Are these "different"? Good luck on your boards. I used to be a recorder/examiner up in the bay area years ago and we didn't know who was from out of state and who wasn't. Students taking the test came from all over the state as well as out of state.
There was no "quotas" or other systems in place. We marked down calculus
spurs and bleeding from trauma. We weren't told how pass/fail was decided so as far as the examiners go, our scoring was strictly based on what we felt with our explorers and what we saw clinically.
Just do the best that you can and try to avoid cutting tissue needlessly with the hand instruments.

Stay calm and act confident. Fake it if you have to. Shaky hands/fingers do not perform well. Pretend as if the examiners do not
exist. Just do your job as you normally would and treat your patient with respect and great care and you will do just fine.

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RDH in Placentia, California

37 months ago

KatrinaKlein in Elk Grove, California said: I'm glad you stuck you your guns about your salary as I have. That's the only way we'll be able to maintain the salary we deserve and are accustomed to. Unfortunately there are a lot out there who are desperate and doing what they feel they have to do to secure a position, any position and it's ruining it for the rest of us.

I'm sure the slow economy has driven some dentists to try to reduce his/her overhead. Unfortunately, some of them will hire a $35/hr desperate RDH just to save costs, even though if you really look at the numbers, it's just $80-$160 day difference, which is not much in a daily dental production.

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