2013 Dental Hygiene Income: Southern states

2013 dental hygiene income statistics for Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

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Southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina

(excluding Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, which are detailed in separate listings for each state.)

Responses: 50

Most common hourly rates: $28 (19%), $40 (12%), $40 (9%), $29 (7%), $33 (7%), $35 (7%)

Comments about southern states:

  • Louisiana: The daily rate in this area has decreased, and it is very hard to find a full time job. Most dentists only want to hire part-time hygienists with no benefits.
  • Arkansas: There are too many hygienists looking for work in Little Rock. There is a school here and a large part of each class stays in this area looking for work.
  • Mississippi: There are no job openings in the Jackson area! Salaries are very low. I produced $1,200 to $5,000 a day for my boss but still get paid only $24 an hour. If my patients cancel, I'm sent home without pay. I do not encourage anyone to get into this profession. No benefits at all. No paid vacations, no holiday pay, no health insurance … nothing.
  • Mississippi: Love what I do, but not the hourly rate in one office. Makes not working look better each day. My time is worth more. I'd rather volunteer and help someone in need than be used. Cheap dentists should be ashamed of themselves.
  • Kentucky: I have been a hygienist for 26 years. My doctor sold to a dental corp. I work faster and see more patients. than I have my entire career. I haven't had a raise in two years. I'm concerned that one day I will be replaced with a hygienist fresh out of college that will agree to work for half of my hourly rate just to have a job. That is where we are heading.
  • Alabama: Hygiene salaries have always been below the national normal here because we have had a preceptorship program that keeps us in good supply of hygienists. I believe this is a direct reflection on the national salary averages being higher than they are for us, but with the opening of dental hygiene schools on most corners in the other states, the hygienists there will see the decrease in wages, where we will stay rather even here in Alabama.
  • South Carolina: My employer is actively trying to cut my hours, clocks me out when patients do not show/cancel and now clocks me out at 5 p.m. whether we are done or not. I am also expected to help clean the office every day (vacuum, mop, trash, clean bathroom) after patients leave for no pay. A previous RDH brought up concerns about this treatment in a staff meeting and was replaced by a new graduate within two weeks.
  • South Carolina: I was laid off and had to take a job making $9 an hour less. Pay has changed since the recession.
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