Types of Degrees Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many dental hygiene/hygienist graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to dental hygiene and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Dental Hygiene Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Skills for Dental Hygiene Majors
A major in dental hygiene prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
Abilities for Dental Hygiene Majors
As a dental hygiene major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with dental hygiene:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of dental hygiene majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||274|
|Hispanic or Latino||903|
Students from other countries are interested in Dental Hygiene, too. About 1.0% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $75,500 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to dental hygiene. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
Some degrees associated with dental hygiene may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to dental hygiene have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.0%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||53.9%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||0.5%|
Online Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 354 schools offered some type of dental hygiene/hygienist program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||10||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||8||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||10||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Worth It?
The median salary for a dental hygiene grad is $75,500 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 89% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $712,000 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
Trades Related to Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to dental hygiene.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician||310|
|Other Dental Services & Allied Professions||118|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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