If you don’t know by now, YOU play a crucial role in oral healthcare. Think about…you’re a licensed professional with the knowledge to recognize oral diseases and provide guidance on proper dental hygiene. With all your training and experience, this question has popped into your head.
What is the average dental hygienist's pay?
Whether you just graduated from hygiene school or have years of dental hygienist experience under your belt, it’s crucial you’re getting paid the right amount.
Become an expert with insider tips to negotiate the best hourly rate and maximize your dental hygienist income in your next job search or contract gig!
In this article, we’ll analyze the key factors that determine dental hygienist earnings and provide a breakdown of what affects the dental hygiene salary range. We’ll get an in-depth focus on Dallas-Fort Worth trends. The future career outlook is also assessed along with differences in a dental hygienist's annual income between urban and rural areas of Texas.
Your Paycheck Deserves a Checkup: Exploring the Typical Dental Hygienist Salary Average in Dallas, TX
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2021 national average salary for dental hygienists was $78,050 annually or $37.53 per hour. With over 15,000 dental hygienists, Texas employs the second highest number in the U.S. after California. The average dental hygienist salary in Texas of $83,410 lags the national figure by around $5,000. The lower cost of living compared to coastal areas contributes to the discrepancy.
Within Texas, salaries differ based on local economic strength. Cities like Dallas-Fort Worth offer higher incomes, while rural regions saw lower averages in 2021:
Dallas-Fort Worth: $88,000
San Antonio: $79,000
El Paso: $69,000
The relative supply and demand for preventive dental care services impact salaries too. In recent years, nearly 900,000 people have moved to Texas. On average, Dallas-Fort Worth welcomed 328 people a day in 2021! With population growth like this, the need for dental care will boost the demand.
Also, government initiatives like Medicaid expansion also influence salaries in Texas. Access to dental insurance and reimbursement rates affect the compensation dental offices can offer hygienists.
Factors that Affect How Much Hygienists Earn
Years of experience influence dental hygienist earnings significantly. Those just entering the field can expect lower salaries closer to the national median, while veterans with 10+ years of experience command higher pay. Advanced expertise and specialty skills gained over time increase earning potential.
Education and Credentials
Dental hygienists with more advanced degrees and extra certifications beyond the minimum required credentials tend to have higher salaries. Earning an associate’s or especially a bachelor’s degree can boost income level.
Industry and Setting
The specific industry and setting impact incomes too. Dental hygienists working in private or group practices often earn more than those in public health clinics. Corporate settings tend to offer higher pay than non-profit organizations.
Are Dental Hygienist Earnings Keeping Pace with Inflation?
Salaries for dental hygienists have been on the rise in recent years. From 2019 to 2021, average pay rose from $76,220 to $78,050 according to the BLS - a 2% increase. Further growth is expected as more dental practices open across the U.S.
Industry developments like increased insurance coverage for preventive services and growing focus on the link between oral and overall health point to a continued strong career outlook. Remote and mobile dental hygiene services are also expanding patient access.
These factors will likely exert upward pressure on dental hygienist salaries in coming years. Continuing education and specialization will be key to capitalizing on higher income potential.
Things to Consider Beyond Salary
Beyond the actual average dental hygienist pay, the profession offers other advantages including:
Flexible scheduling: Many dental hygienists work part time which offers work-life balance.
Job stability: Dental care remains in high demand creating job security.
Low-stress environment: Focus on patient education and preventive care creates a relaxed work setting.
Opportunities to specialize: Hygienists can pursue specialty areas like periodontics for higher pay and advancement.
High job satisfaction results from the positive work environment and fulfillment from providing an essential healthcare service.
A confluence of factors from location to experience level impact dental hygienist earnings. Understanding the salary landscape is critical for both aspiring and current dental hygienists to maximize their income and opportunities. While salaries represent just one aspect, the future looks bright for dental hygienists as demand for preventive oral care continues rising across the country.