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Dental Hygienist: Salary

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Salary Outlook

Hygienists make comfortable salaries, especially considering that many in this profession work part time. In 2012, their median salary was $70,210. The best-paid earned about $96,280 and the bottom 10 percent earned $46,540. Many of the top-paid hygienists work in dentists’ offices, but outpatient care centers and ambulatory health care services also pay well. The profession’s best-paying metropolitan areas include San Francisco, Vallejo, Calif., and Santa Rosa, Calif.

Job Salary Year
2004 $59,430.00
2006 $62,500.00
2008 $67,080.00
2010 $68,850.00
2012 $70,700.00

Average Dental Hygienist Pay vs. All Health Care Jobs

With an average salary of $70,700 in 2012, dental hygienists earn salaries that compare well to other health care jobs. However, dental assistants and clinical laboratory technicians generally make about half as much money. Registered nurses, who earned an average of $67,930 in 2012, made pay similar to dental hygienists. An occupational therapist tends to make slightly more money. And dentists, who often work closely with hygienists, earned $163,240.

Job Name Salary
Dentist $145,240.00
Occupational Therapist $75,400.00
Dental Hygienist $70,210.00
Registered Nurse $65,470.00
Clinical Laboratory Technician $37,240.00
Dental Assistant $34,500.00

Best Paying Cities for Dental Hygienists

The highest paid in the dental hygienist profession work in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Vallejo, Calif., and Santa Rosa, Calif. The Santa Cruz, Calif. area also pays well, as does the city of New Haven, Conn.

San Francisco

Average Salary: $106,700 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a dental hygienist working in San Francisco is $106,700, which is $36,490 more than the average pay in the profession.

Vallejo, Calif.

Average Salary: $104,270 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a dental hygienist working in Vallejo, Calif. is $104,270, which is $34,060 more than the average pay in the profession.

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Average Salary: $101,550 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a dental hygienist working in Santa Rosa, Calif. is $101,550, which is $31,340 more than the average pay in the profession.

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Average Salary: $101,350 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a dental hygienist working in Santa Cruz, Calif. is $101,350, which is $31,140 more than the average pay in the profession.

New Haven, Conn.

Average Salary: $101,020 | See Job Openings

The annual median wage of a dental hygienist working in New Haven, Conn. is $101,020, which is $30,810 more than the average pay in the profession.

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Last updated by Jada A. Graves.


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