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
Keiser University eCampus Online
For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family. Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions. Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience.
Why Keiser University Online
Online Convenience to Help You Achieve Your Goals
From faculty to admissions, our staff is dedicated to your success.
- Accessible faculty and staff with small classes to ensure personalized attention for each student
- State-of-the-practice online classroom technology in a user-friendly format to enhance learning
- Extensive online resources with access to all student services, including registration, instructional materials and an online library system with a wide range of academic journals, e-books, streaming videos, print titles and research databases
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools1
- Financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify
- Military-friendly and committed to serving active members of the military, veterans and their families, with scholarships available for those who qualify.
- Approved for veterans training
- Transfer credits accepted subject to university approval
Keiser is one of Florida’s largest independent universities and is a valued choice for career-motivated students. We offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in fields that are in demand, and we provide job placement assistance to students and alumni.
Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.
1 Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.