Is a Dental Hygienist Career for You?
Dental hygienists obviously have a paycheck to look forward to every two weeks, but their jobs provide many other reasons to brighten their smiles on their way to work. You’ll enjoy these benefits, which will typically accompany that steady paycheck as a dental hygienist:
1. Flexible Schedule
One of the biggest perks of working as a dental hygienist is the flexible scheduling. In this field, many different types of work schedules are common, including full-time, part-time or just weekends. Many dental hygienists are even employed at multiple offices, working one or two days per week in each one. While you might occasionally have to tweak your personal schedule to fit the demands of a busy dental office, most dental hygienists are able to set their own work hours to meet the needs of their hectic lives.
2. Competitive Salary
Since the dental industry needs reliable staff members who have expertise and the ability to manage a variety of tasks, the compensation is well worth your efforts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for dental hygienists is $77,090. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors.
3. Job Stability
Due to population increases and preventative care being placed at a higher priority, this career path is ranked as one of the fastest growing occupations. What this means for you: a continuously high demand for your services, whether you’re just finishing a certification program or in the midst of your career as a dental hygienist.
4. People-Oriented Atmosphere
The priority for most dental offices is to make the patients feel as relaxed as possible while teaching them how to properly care for their teeth and gums. As a dental hygienist, you can expect to work in a comfortable, friendly work environment where you’ll interact with a lot of different people on a daily basis. If you recognize the importance of oral health and love helping others, a career as a dental hygienist could be a perfect fit for you.
5. Advancement Opportunities
You’ll need either a certificate or associate’s degree at the minimum to work in a private office as a dental hygienist. These training programs are well-organized so students can complete them efficiently and with plenty of hands-on experience. Even better, once you’re working as a dental hygienist, you can take classes to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree. With either of these, you will have plenty of advancement opportunities ahead of you, including careers in research or teaching the practice of dental hygiene.
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