To become a dental hygienist and earn a dental hygienist salary, a certain amount of education is required. You cannot go directly into this job from high school. You will need to go to a college for about two years. You will then have an associate's degree in dental hygiene. All states require you to be licensed which mean taking examinations these are taken through the American Dental Hygienists Association. After going to school and getting your associate's degree and getting licensed you will be ready for an entry level dental hygienist salary.
All states are different from the national median of $70,000 annually. Some states will actually be higher than the national average, but there will also be states that are lower. There will be differences in what you get paid by city also. This makes it difficult to pinpoint an exact dental hygienist salary.
Where you work will also make a dental hygienist salary different. Although dental hygienists often work in dentist's offices they can also work with physicians and on an outpatient basis. The average median dental hygienist salary for outpatient is $70,000. For working in a dental office you will get paid an average of $71,000 and when you work in a physician's office you will get paid about $65,000.
As a dental hygienist you will be required to help a dentist give treatment of the teeth, gums and mouth. You will examine the teeth and gums and remove tartar and stains on the teeth. Root planning is also part of your job duties. This is cleaning of roots of the teeth. If fluoride needs to be applied that will be something you will do and you also will be in charge of taking x-rays.
You will also teach patients how to brush properly, floss properly and any other aspect of dental hygiene. In a small office you may have to work as the office assistant as well. This would require you to answer phones and make appointments. Sometimes you will polish gold inlays and make models of dental impressions. You will have plenty to do to keep you busy and make the dentist's job easier for him. You will want to be able to get along well with people since you will deal with them on a daily basis.
Dental hygienist incomes reflect how much they have to do each day. It will be up to the dental hygienist to reassure nervous patients since work on teeth can upset several people. As you gain experience you can expect to get higher wages. Who knows you may want to get into education eventually. Remember that states all differ and cities in those states will also differ. You can use the national average as a starting point.