Help wanted. There’s a good chance you’ll be the second-highest paid employee in the office, but a very distant second to me. That salary is the only benefit you’ll receive while working for me, by the way. If you’re a married woman, your husband will probably have better benefits than I do, so take them.
Is that how a classified advertisement should read for an open position for a dental hygienist? Maybe 40 years ago, you say?
Links to Other 2013 Salary Survey Articles
A Virginia hygienist wrote in her response to the RDH eVillage job benefits survey: “It is a career I would no longer be interested in since it is not a career in most dental settings. It is best as a part-time job … It is best if you have a partner who provides the insurance benefits and the second income. The pay is very good if you work five-day weeks but don't expect any great benefits other than the pay. Lack of insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits would force me to search for a better place of employment if it weren't for the fact that I am leaving dental hygiene in one year to retire.”
Consider reading:Dental hygienists scramble for health insurance
Wait! A dental hygienist is actually going to retire? Among full-time hygienists, only 59% receive a contribution from an employer, according to the results of the February 2013 survey conducted by RDH eVillage. In addition, 59% of dental hygienists are uninsured against disability in a somewhat hazardous occupation. Let’s hope they make to the finish line.
This second article of the job benefits survey compares the “protective” benefits (health, dental, disability, malpractice, and life insurance) as well as retirement plans for dental hygienists on a state-by-state basis. Click on the links below to view the statistics for your state.
If a reader would like to compare the statistics from his or her state to national averages, the overall numbers for U.S. full-time dental hygienists are (the survey reported 2,063 respondents as of March 18, 2013):
Health insurance: 53% are covered through a family member’s plan; 38% are covered by an employer’s plan; and 9% are uninsured.
Dental insurance: 45% receive treatment at reduced cost at employer’s practice; 24% are covered by a family member’s plan; 22% are uninsured; and 10% are covered by plan provided by employer.
Disability insurance: 59% are uninsured; 26% are covered by self-initiated coverage; and 15% are covered by an employer’s plan.
Malpractice insurance: 44% are covered by self-initiated coverage; 33% are uninsured; and 23% are covered by employer’s plan.
Retirement plan: 59% have a retirement plan where employer makes a contribution to it.
Life insurance: 13% are covered through an employer’s plan.
Many employers say employees who work more than 30 hours a week qualify for full benefits. With that in mind, the statistics below consider hygienists who reported working four or more days a week, even though some hygienists working less than 30 hours a week reported earning benefits (in much smaller percentages).
Respondents often chose “self-initiated coverage” as the answer to a question about insurance policies. According to comments, respondents generally opted for insurance coverage through a dental hygiene association or shopped for their own policy.
Upcoming articles will feature additional information from the survey. Dental hygienists are encouraged to participate by clicking here.
The comments underneath the statistics for each state are only from respondents who indicated they work full-time. Not all states include the full range of statistics; the survey examined the statistics in states where at least a dozen full-time dental hygienists participated.