Dental Hygienists’ Salary: How Lucrative is Dental Hygiene?

Dental Hygienists' Salary: How Lucrative is dental hygiene?

Dental hygienists are in high demand and there are many reasons for it. COVID-19 has made permanent changes in our world, and in the field of dentistry. Dental hygienists are leaving clinic for positions in sales, education or research. Although in most cases, these positions do not compare to the clinical dental hygienists salary, hygienists are ripping off the masks and tackling other positions outside of clinic.

Thus, opportunities are bountiful for those who are considering a career in clinical dental hygiene.

Why I love dental hygiene

I began my career in clinical dental hygiene in 1995. Right out of college I landed a job making $18.00 per hour. Proud that I could support myself and my family, I photocopied my first check and still have it.

Additionally, the hours are great. Instead of working 12 hour shifts like my nursing friends, I worked 6-8 hour shifts 3 1/2 days a week. The beauty of dental hygiene is that you can work as much or as little as you want and still bring home the bacon.

In doing a little research on the amount of pay a dental hygienist makes in today’s world I went to Zip Recruiter. I was given an excellent state by state account of dental hygienists’ salary. I think you will agree, dental hygiene could be a lucrative career.

StateHourly WageAnnual Salary
New York – Dental Hygienist Salary$40.24$83,707
Massachusetts – Dental Hygienist Salary$39.86$82,915
Washington – Dental Hygienist Salary$39.59$82,337
New Hampshire – Dental Hygienist Salary$38.80$80,696
Hawaii – Dental Hygienist Salary$38.29$79,634
Maryland – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.94$76,843
Connecticut – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.93$76,818
North Dakota – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Alaska – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Wyoming – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Montana – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Nevada – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Idaho – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.69$76,315
Rhode Island – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.63$76,194
Vermont – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.43$75,779
Nebraska – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.39$75,684
California – Dental Hygienist Salary$36.07$75,025
Virginia – Dental Hygienist Salary$35.91$74,692
Kentucky – Dental Hygienist Salary$35.19$73,188
South Dakota – Dental Hygienist Salary$35.10$73,016
New Jersey – Dental Hygienist Salary$35.03$72,858
West Virginia – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.99$72,769
Pennsylvania – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.82$72,417
South Carolina – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.64$72,042
Minnesota – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.60$71,976
Oregon – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.52$71,802
Delaware – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.52$71,793
Tennessee – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.49$71,742
Colorado – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.47$71,696
Ohio – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.24$71,225
Wisconsin – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.16$71,055
Arizona – Dental Hygienist Salary$34.09$70,907
Kansas – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.94$70,601
Utah – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.93$70,570
Indiana – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.87$70,452
Oklahoma – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.82$70,341
Maine – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.70$70,089
Louisiana – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.56$69,804
Iowa – Dental Hygienist Salary$33.21$69,086
Georgia – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.89$68,403
Texas – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.51$67,618
New Mexico – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.44$67,472
Michigan – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.36$67,301
Arkansas – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.33$67,251
Illinois – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.16$66,885
Alabama – Dental Hygienist Salary$32.12$66,803
Mississippi – Dental Hygienist Salary$31.79$66,127
Missouri – Dental Hygienist Salary$31.72$65,972
Florida – Dental Hygienist Salary$31.00$64,472
North Carolina – Dental Hygienist Salary$29.51$61,391

Of course, it’s not just about the salary of the dental hygienist that should be considered. Those of you considering a career in dental hygiene, beware. It’s far from easy and can be quite tedious and mundane at times. Most importantly, to sustain a future in dental hygiene, pay constant attention to ergonomics, exercise and be kind to yourself.


A full day of dental hygiene, especially in the new PPE, is exhausting! Best part about that is you will sleep very well. Just make sure you stay organized:

  • On your day off, stock up on groceries. Pre-cook meals and plan your meal for the week.
  • Do your laundry and lay out your clothes that you will wear everyday. This saves a ton of time in the morning.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Always have healthy snacks on hand like almonds, pistachios (a perfect protein), seeds, string cheese, a banana.
  • Carry a day’s worth of water with you to work and drink liberally.
  • Don’t forget to take bathroom breaks. Many dental hygienists’ hold it to save time. I wouldn’t suggest that. Take 5 for yourself.

Being accepted into a dental hygiene program is just the beginning. It will be challenging and is designed to weed out the weak, but I can assure you, the rewards are worth it. Some of the tips I can offer during school:

  • Make sure you get lots of rest.
  • Organize your time. Most of it will be centered around your studies, so be prepared. It’s only for a short period of time in the big picture.
  • Tell friends and family that you will not be available and get ready to study and focus.
  • School is stressful. Expect to feel alone, and even miserable. Reach out to your fellow classmates. Buddy up with someone who knows exactly what you are going through, because they are going through the same thing.

My dad always told me that I should be able to take care of myself, pay my own bills, make my own way on my terms. A career in dental hygiene has given me that and so much more.

In conclusion, to be a dental hygienist, you have to be one tough mudder! Best wishes to you on your journey.

Stay safe, Annamarie

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