How Much Do Dental Hygienists Make? (2023)

Per Year
Per Hour

How Much Money Do Dental Hygienists Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that dental hygienists make a median salary of $77,810 each year or $37.41 per hour. The bottom 10 percent of dental hygienists earn less than $60,100 per year, while the top 10 percent of dental hygienists earn more than $100,200 annually.

Do Dental Hygienists Get Paid Well?

Dental assistants are paid well, they earn more than than the national average ($45,760). They also earn more than other health care practitioners. The median salary for health care practitioners and technical occupations is $75,040. Dental Hygienists typically have an associate's degree. When compared to professions that require a similar level of education, dental hygienists earn more. Other professions that require an associate's degree have a median salary of $59,260 per year.

How Much Do Dental Hygienists Get Starting Out?

The BLS does not provide average compensation data for entry-level positions for dental hygienists just starting out, but the bottom 25 percent of dental hygienists earn $73,540 each year.

How Many Dental Hygienists Are There in the United States?

There are 214,000 dental hygienists in the U.S.The states with the most dental hygienists are California (25,200), Texas (13,030) and Florida (11,230). 

Where Can Dental Hygienists Earn The Most?

The states where dental hygienists earn the most are Alaska ($115,510), California ($108,200) and Washington ($106,200). 

Is Becoming A Dental Hygienist Worth It?

Deciding whether or not to become a dental hygienist depends on a number of factors such as job growth, salary information, job requirements and required education. As a dental hygienist, you can expect strong demand for your services—employment for dental hygienists is expected to grow by 8.9 percent between 2021 and 2031. This growth will result in approximately 43,000 new jobs.

To become a dental hygienist, you must earn an associate's degree in dental hygiene and pass a national licensure exam. Dental hygiene programs typically take about two years to complete and include both classroom instruction and clinical experience.

As a dental hygienist, you will be responsible for providing preventive and therapeutic oral health care services to patients. This may include tasks such as cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and educating patients on oral hygiene. Dental hygienists work closely with dentists and may be responsible for preparing patients for dental procedures and assisting with them as needed. Dental hygienists may work in a variety of settings, including dental offices, hospitals, and clinics.

Overall, becoming a dental hygienist can be a rewarding career choice for those who are interested in the field of dentistry and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. It offers strong job growth and a good salary, but it also requires a significant investment in terms of education and training.

How Much do Dental Hygienists Earn in Each State?

The table below compares dental hygienist salaries across states and U.S. territories (Source: BLS Occupational Employment and Wages May 2020). You can also find data for the number of dental hygienists in each state as well as the number of dental hygienists per 1,000 jobs—a figure that can help you determine the job's popularity in a given location. Not all locations have employment statistics. 

Program outcomes may vary depending on each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guranteed.