To become a dental hygienist in Houston, the first step is to enroll in one of the formal dental hygienist schools in Houston or the surrounding area. These programs offer the background and hands-on skills needed to join the dental hygienist workforce, and are required by some licensing and certification programs. Most education programs offer associate’s degrees or certificate programs, though some advanced degrees are available.
See the list of Houston dental hygienist schools below to see what programs are available.
Dental Hygienist Jobs: Overview, Employment Outlook
Dental Hygienists work hand in hand with patients on an everyday basis. They explain to patients proper oral care as well as preventive care, such the right toothbrush to use, mouthwash, and so on. They also inspect the gums and teeth for any sign of problems or diseases. They report any findings to the dentist who will then precede with whatever measures to fix the problem. In many offices, the dental hygienist will work side by side with dentist in helping with patients care.
Dental Hygienists need good hand and eye coordination since they work constantly with small tools in mouths, that require precision since there is little room for mistake. Its also helpful if dental hygienists is friendly and outgoing since they work with people constantly.
The employment outlook for dental hygienists is one of those careers that do not seem to be affected very much by the bad economic times. In fact, the government is still predicted an increase in the number of positions in United States by 2018. They are hoping that a 36% increase will occur, and open up at least 60,000 jobs or more. Finding a job in heavily populated areas will be the easiest, while low populated areas will see less job openings. However, there will still be a need in these area, just not as significant of a number.
On average, dental hygienists make around $69,280. This amount fluctuates depending on the area in which you work. For example, a bigger, metropolitan city will make more than someone working in a rural city. Salary is also affected by how hygienists are paid and what they work. They can either work part time or full time, with part time being the most favorable by dentists. They can also be paid hourly, on commission or on a salary. It really depends on the employer preference.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.