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How to become a Dental Hygienist

To work as a dental hygienist, the following may be required of you:

  1. Earn an associate's degree from an accredited dental hygiene school.
  2. Earn a bachelor's or a master's degree in dental hygiene if you want to advance your career.
  3. Apply for a license from the dental board in the state where you want to practice and then pass both a written and clinical examination to obtain the license.
How to become: Author · Dental Hygienist · Dentist · Clinical Instructor · Dental Assistant
These qualifications are required: Driver's License · Nitrous Oxide Certification · X-Ray Certification
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What skills help Dental Hygienists find jobs?

  • Bilingual
  • Care plans
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Dental office experience
  • Dentrix
  • Discharge planning
  • Documentation review
  • Eaglesoft
  • English
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Career progression for Dental Hygienist

Education levels for Dental Hygienists

Based on the requirements of Dental Hygienist job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Associate's degree59.4%
Bachelor's degree28.6%
High school diploma or GED8.1%
Master's degree2.8%
Doctoral degree1.1%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Dental Hygienist in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$68,200
4 - 8$69,200
8 - 12$70,700
12 - 16$71,100
16 - 20$72,600
20 - 24$72,000
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Common qualifications for Dental Hygienists

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications
certification

BLS Certification

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Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationLocal Anesthesia Certification
  • certificationRegistered Dental Hygienist
  • certificationNitrous Oxide Certification
  • certificationX-Ray Certification
  • certificationDental License
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Common questions about career advices for a Dental Hygienist

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist, you are required to obtain a dental hygiene certification. This certification will take two years at a minimum. If you would like to receive further education, you can remain in school and receive a bachelor's or master's degree. This means it can take anywhere from two to six years to become a dental hygienist.

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What is the job outlook for a dental hygienist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the years 2018 to 2028, the number of dental hygienists that will be needed to fill positions in dental offices is expected to grow by approximately 11%.

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What skills are needed to become a dental hygienist?

Dental hygienists need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills since they regularly work with nervous patients who need to be kept calm. They handle numerous tasks at once so they are also expected to have strong organizational and time management skills.

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Is it hard to get a job as a dental hygienist?

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Can I become a dental hygienist online?

Can you become a dental hygienist in two years?

What to know before becoming a dental hygienist?

How can I be the best dental hygienist?

What kind of jobs can a dental hygienist do?

Should I become a dental assistant before a hygienist?

Can you change your career from being a dental hygienist to a dentist?

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