Dental Hygienists: Overview, Roles, Responsibilities and Work Environment
Dental hygienists work directly with the patient and help to explain good oral hygiene, as well as provide preventive care. Dental hygienists also examine teeth for gum or teeth for abnormalities or diseases. They work side by side with the dentist in most cases.
One of the most significant aspects of becoming a dental hygienist is the flexible scheduling that accompany the job. Many people in this career work part time, on weekends, or full time depending on what is needed. In 2008, 85% of dental hygienists worked only 35 hours per week.
The work environment for a dental hygienists is an office setting, with sitting down frequently with patients being a daily activity. They wear safety glasses, gloves and facial masks when working with patients to prevent spreading of infectious germs. Those who work in the field need to be careful not to strain their back and neck which is a common side effect of bending over patients for so many hours during the day.
The employment for dental hygienists is predicted to increase by 36% over the next ten years. This will open up about 63,000 more jobs.
The salary for dental hygienists depends on whether the person works full time, part time or whatnot. A person in the dental hygienist field may be paid on commission, hourly or a daily salary. The median annual wage for dental hygienists in America is approximately $69,280 per year. Those who earn on the higher end of the spectrum reported in recent government surveys to earn $94,850. However, this was a small percentage at only 10% of people reporting this type of income. These same people reported that they did receive some type of employment benefits whether they worked full or part time. These included, sick days, paid vacation, etc.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.
Education and Training
A high school diploma is required to enter into any dental hygienists training program. There is a minimum requirement of an associates degree or certificate in dental hygiene to work in a private dentists office. In addition to schooling, a person must be certified by the state in which they intend to practice. This includes passing an oral and written examination.
Schools in Atlanta with Dental Hygienist Training Programs
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Keiser University eCampus Online
Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions. Degrees are offered with a curriculum that is in pace with technology and workforce demand trends in business, criminal justice, health care, information technology and more. Our “one-class-at-a-time” approach allows busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.
Why Keiser University Online? Online Convenience, Personalized Attention
From admissions to faculty, our staff is dedicated to student care:
- One-class-at-a-time scheduling. Instead of juggling multiple assignments and exams, take one class for four weeks before moving on.
- Small classes with accessible staff and faculty that foster a student-centered learning community
- State-of-the-practice online classroom technology and user-friendly format to enhance learning
- Extensive online resources that include information and access to all student services
- Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify
- Military friendly. Keiser University offers scholarships to qualified veterans, active-duty military personnel and their dependents. Keiser is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant and approved for veterans training.
Keiser is one of Florida’s largest independent universities and a valued choice for career-motivated students. Keiser University Online offers degrees in fields that are in demand and provides job placement assistance to its students and alumni. We research trends for growing fields and tailor our curriculum to prepare students for entry and advancement to rewarding careers.