If you have considered changing your career to “dental hygienist” now would be a good time to do it. The United States Department of Labor reports that this job is one of the fastest growing jobs and will continue to be that way for the next ten years. Dental hygienist is a relatively good paying job, with flexible hours and schedules which is good for working moms and it is in a respected field. You will need to have some additional schooling, but the payoff may be well worth it in the end. Here are some questions and answers to help you decide if being a dental hygienist the career for you:
What additional schooling will I need to be a dental hygienist? You will need to have a high school diploma and at least an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. You can take these courses through a trade school or at a community college. Some trade schools require that you have at least a year of college first. You will take classes such as biology, anatomy and chemistry. When you have your degree, you will take a written and a clinical exam to get your license as a dental hygienist.
What will I do as a dental hygienist? You will clean patient’s teeth and remove stains from them. You will teach patients about proper dental care and hygiene. You will take x-rays and in some states you will even give patients anesthesia as a dental hygienist. You will also take notes on the patient’s oral health to give to the dentist.
What does a hygienist get paid? It all depends on experience, schooling and where you work. But, the average is around $29 an hour. Hygienists who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and work as a teacher or clinician can make up to $40 an hour.
Can I choose to work part time? Yes. In fact, many dentists have hygienists who work for 2 or 3 days a week in their office. Some hygienists work in more than one office so that they can work full time.
Will I get benefits? Most hygienists who work in private practice offices get paid vacation. They also get paid dental coverage.
The job outlook is good because people have healthier teeth which requires them to get more preventative care which a hygienist provides.