2013 RDH eVillage Salary Survey: A state-by-state comparison of dental hygiene income

Dec. 10, 2013
Dental hygienists report statistics about income during 2013.

One reader recently wrote that the salary surveys can hamper salary negotiations. She didn’t specify whether it was this salary survey that causes things to go south, but we get the point.

Here’s how these things typically go:

Dentist: “Well, I’ve enjoyed our conversation this morning. I think you would be a good fit for my practice. Built it from the ground up myself over these last 20 years. What would it take to get you onboard, helping my patients achieve optimal oral health?”

Job candidate suggests a salary based on what he or she read in a salary survey. There is a pause and the dentist looks her in the eye. Suddenly, the candidate feels a knot in her stomach. She imagines any moment the doctor will be rolling on the floor in laughter, coughing up breakfast, and slamming the door so hard she feels the breeze fan her posterior.

Naturally, we would never recommend using this article as the only research you do on deciding on whether to accept a job. (Note: If this feels like we are throwing you out, alone, into a pool of sharks, then, yeah, that’s probably close to the truth.)

Here is where we want to be clear: Only you can decide on a career change, or if a response to a request for a raise is reasonable.

Salary surveys are supposed to be informative, but only to a point. Not everyone responds to them, so who knows if the averages make prospective employers smile, sweat, or groan in dismay? We certainly don’t.

Dentists never look at salary surveys to decide what kind of offer they’re going to make if someone gullible walks in for a job. Wink, wink.

When more people respond to a survey, it stands to reason that the numbers are more accurate than when fewer people respond. With that in mind, we offer the results of the 2013 RDH eVillage salary survey in chronological order, not alphabetical order. The states with the most responses appear first, while…we’ll let you guess who ends up at the bottom.

Seriously, good luck with your next interview. Sorry we couldn’t be there with you, cheering you on with some great insider tips. But you’re a dental hygienist, of course, and, as long as you’re not applying for the same job with 200 other dental hygienists in the neighborhood, we think you’ll do fine.

As mentioned above, the income statistics below are based on the number of responses from a state:

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas, Ohio, Florida

Washington, Massachusetts, Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana, Virginia,

Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma

Regional breakdowns

  • Western states,including Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming
  • Midwestern states,including Kansas, Iowa Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
  • Southern states,including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina
  • Northern states,including Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia

The 2013 survey was actually a yearlong project for us, covering other items such as benefits and raises in other articles. We encourage you to look at those, too: