How Much Do Dental Hygienists Make?

Dental Hygienist income levels fall within the upper end of all healthcare assistant and entry level healthcare roles. In fact earnings for Dental Hygienists are among the top 25% of all salaries in the United States.

Average Dental Hygiene Salary in the USA


Average salary for Dental Hygienists in 2015 $72,720
Hourly wage for Dental Hygienists $34.96
Top 10% of Earners $98,440
Bottom 10% of Earners $51,140


There can be quite a significant range in salary depending on where you live in the USA. Below we look at average earnings across all States, as well as employment figures and projections. In the following sections we provide a further breakdown of Dental Hygienists Salaries.

How much does a Dental Hygienists make an hour?

The mean hourly wage for Dental Hygienists in the USA is $34.96.

Salary Ranges for Dental Hygienists

  • Salaries vary great across the United States, depending on where you live. even allowing for local cost of living adjustments the range is still substantial. Experience also matters with an obvious variance between a Dental Hygienist starting salary and salary for those who are well experienced.
  • Average range across all States: From a low of $44,400 in Alabama to a high of $98,530 in Washington DC. This represents a huge variance of over $54,000 in earnings, even taking into consideration cost of living adjustments.
  • Top earners to bottom earners: Overall the bottom 10% (including entry level Dental Hygienist salary) of those working as Dental Hygienists earned an average of $51,140, whilst the top 10% earned an average of $72,720.

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Top paying States for Dental Hygienists

The table below illustrates the States in which Dental Hygienists earn the most – taking into consideration cost of living adjustments for each State.

StateSalary% Above
Washington DC$98,530.0035.49%
New Mexico$89,290.0022.79%

How much does a Dental Hygienist make in your State?

Find out how much do dental hygenists make in your area by browsing the map below which breaks down Dental Hygienist salary by State;

Top paying Metro / City areas for Dental Hygienists

If you are interested in becoming a Dental Hygienist and are motivated by earning potential you might be interested in which localities will provide you with the highest income opportunity. The table below illustrates the Metro areas and Cities where Dental Hygienists earn the most – taking into consideration cost of living adjustments for each.

CitySalary% Above
Southwest Washington nonmetropolitan area$97,88034.60%
North Nevada nonmetropolitan area$97,68034.32%
Northwest Washington nonmetropolitan area$96,80033.11%
Northwest Washington nonmetropolitan area$96,80033.11%
Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area$95,15030.84%
South Nevada nonmetropolitan area$94,16029.48%

Dental Hygienist Jobs Growth and Employment Projections

There are currently approximately 204,280 (2016) persons working as Dental Hygienists in the USA. This represents an almost 38% increase in employment since 2000 and this trend is set to continue.  The Bureau of Labour Studies (BLS) predicts that demand for Dental Hygienists will continue to grow between 2016 and 2024. In fact it is predicted that a further 30,000 positions could be created in the sector in that time representing a 14.7% increase in employment figures.


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So if you are considering a career as a Dental Hygienist all the indicators would suggest that this is a good career choice. Salary levels are excellent by comparison to most other healthcare assisting roles and by comparison to other careers in general. There are a high number of people employed in the sector and as demand for the service continues to grow so too will employment with significant jobs growth.