2013 Dental Hygiene Income: States with 25 to 50 responses

2013 dental hygiene income stastistics for Washington, Massachusetts, Georgia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana and Virginia.

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Washington

Responses: 48

Experience levels: 27% of respondents graduated after 2000 (33% earn $43 an hour), and 25% graduated during the 1980s (51% earn either $42, $45, or $48 an hour).

Location: 52% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $43 (17%), $44 (17%), and $45 (17%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $38 (15%), $40 (15%), and $45 (15%).

Annual income trends: 35% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 42% projected a 2013 income in the $61,000 to $65,000 range.

Comments about Washington

  • I work in a specialty practice with a changing emphasis from the typical "recare" hygiene and patient maintenance being a primary source and integral income part of the practice, to greater emphasis as a surgical/implant practice. Hygiene hours are perhaps half what they were even 15 years ago.
  • Tragic times in dental hygiene. It's a part-time job with no benefits and no respect. Patients and dentists only see us as "teeth cleaners." It's all about factory dentistry. Those who are not dental hygienist's tell us how to do our jobs. It's disgraceful. I live with the burning passion to educate and practice dental hygiene.
  • In Spokane, the market is flooded with new graduates and laid off dental hygienists from the previous economic crash. Our boss has not given any raises in over four years. And he 'reminds' us on a regular basis how many other employees are out there hungry for a job that would work for a lower rate than we are. Nice huh?
  • The dental hygiene job market is flat in our area. As new full-time jobs are scarce, many hygienists are finding the need to work several part-time jobs or add temp hours if they can find them to supplement their incomes. I personally have not had a raise in 3 years and have suffered a loss of income as my hours have been cut in my primary practice as the number of hygiene patient visits has dwindled.
  • I have been on salary since 2007. My salary has not changed since then. I have lost retirement and vacation but still same pay. My boss was very generous and my new boss is trimming back.
  • With the number of dental hygiene schools in our state and the graduates they are pumping out,wWe have hit RDH saturation. The hope is, you have a healthy working relationship with your dentist. I've heard stories of veteran hygienists being replaced with graduates for a much lower wage.

Massachusetts

Responses: 48

Experience levels: 11% of respondents graduated after 2000 (60% earn $37-$40) an hour), and 34% graduated during the 1980s (36% earn $40 an hour).

Location: 64% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $40 (29%), $38 (14%), $39 (14%), and $45 (14%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $37 (25%) and $40 (25%).

Annual income trends: 28% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 39% projected a 2013 income in the $61,000 to $65,000 range.

Comments about Massachusetts

  • I am full time in one office and have been here for 6 1/2 years. I have been practicing for 23 years. Four other hygienists in our office are part time. They all work part time in other offices. We have had multiple temp hygienists that have filled in that cannot find regular or full-time jobs. We all make the same rate per hour, however, I have some benefits due to full-time status. We have not had a raise in over two years
  • Salaries are dropping where I am. Too many hygienists, not enough jobs.
  • It is so unfair to new hygienists trying to find a job, and it's a shame how our responsibilities as a hygienist have increased, not reflected in our paycheck. The dentist now can hire somehow who is "so happy" to land a job. Because there are no jobs, the pay that the new hygienist will take is so much lower than what seasoned hygienist makes. The handwriting is on the wall, we will only last until we retire, and they'll be happy to replace us for less money. I am very unhappy about this.
  • There could be some economic recovery occurring. I have heard this but not experienced it. I love my profession but it is being destroyed by too many hygienists in the area. I teach part time at a local community college and our graduates are being paid 20% less than four years ago. Most do not get the number of hours they would prefer with no benefits, and many are working as a 1099 subcontractor. I am leaving the profession to open a wine and cheese shop.
  • Dental fees continue to increase, but most dentists in area have not given pay raise for several years siting economy. I have not had a raise in three years.
  • I hear that hygienists are not finding employment and many offices suffer with openings in their schedule and less patient load. Dental practices need to focus on providing value for oral health and treating periodontal disease with better systems in place!

Georgia

Responses: 38

Experience levels: 26% of respondents graduated after 2000 (50% either earn either $32 or $35 an hour), and 29% graduated during the 1990s (27% earn $30 an hour).

Location: 71% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $40 (27%), $32 (14%), and $35 (14%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $28 to $32 (60%).

Annual income trends: 34% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 33% projected a 2013 income in the $56,000 to $60,000 range.

Comments about Georgia

  • Even though my salary per hour increased this year, my hours decreased. I now make less than I did 2 years ago because of the decreased hours due to a downsizing of the practice I work in.
  • In our area, most hygienist have not seen a raise an the market is flood with hygienist coming out of school who cannot find jobs and in my opinion are poorly trained and prepared for their profession.. The few I have meet act like they are superior to a hygienist that has more working experience. It's a sad statement for the hygiene profession. I can honestly say I would never let any of these hygienist do a prophy on me. Wake up and change the standards and quality of the hygiene schools and hygienist.
  • Market is so saturated thinking of obtaining a job in another field or going back to school.
  • I was salary plus bonus based upon a min production and amounts over that amt for the bonus plus sick pay and vacation pay and half of my insurance paid for. Now I work solely on commission with no other benefits
  • Employment opportunities are at an all time low for my area. I have been a hygienist here for 25 years. Daily, I receive emails and resumes from hygienists both new and experienced basically begging for any hours they can get. Sad for all parties.
  • Since downturn in economy, our boss decided, without consulting or informing us, to pay us only for the patients we see and not pay us salary as he always did before. We receive no benefits, and when economy recovered somewhat , he continued to pay us per patient seen.
  • The Atlanta area is flooded with hygienists, the dentists treat us terribly from my experience and all the friends I have spoken with in this area. They have reduced hygiene pay for a lot of my friends. For example, I have a friend who has the best paying job that I know of, but when she does not see a hygiene patient her pay is now cut in half when she works on the recall system, etc. One of my hygiene friends is owed a huge sum of back pay from her boss.

Minnesota

Responses: 37

Experience levels: 27% of respondents graduated after 2000 (44% either earn $29 or $36 an hour), and 30% graduated during the 1980s (27% earn $35 an hour).

Location: 76% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $36 (19%), $35 (12%), $39 (12%), and $40 (12%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $31 (33%) and $33 (22%).

Annual income trends: 38% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 21% projected a 2013 income in the $56,000 to $60,000 range.

Comments about Minnesota

  • My former doctor sold practice to younger DDS , and now the practice is ALL about marketing and production. I have not had a raise in 7 years and am being required to do panographs on children, diagnosis of oral cancer with Velascope ( one scope to share with 4 hygienists, photos with intraoral camera( again sharing one in office with 4 hygienists and two assistance, prescribes adult fluoride treatments to patients that don't need them, do scaling and root planing on teeth with 4mm pockets no bleeding, no calculus all to increase production at the expense of ethical care for patients. After 37 years of being a dental health care professional, the industry has changed so much and it is all about production and greed and I SO wish I could afford to retire!! I am a single divorced woman and trying to change in there until I can retire....age 70,maybe!??
  • It's bad. Too many hygiene programs. Someone needs to advocate!
  • Annually I get a "cost of living increase" which varies from either 1%-5%. It has been the lower percentage in the last couple years due to economic times says my employer.
  • Salaries have dropped to the level I was earning 10 yrs ago. Can't remember the last time I saw a full-time job posted. Most DDS now hire part-time RDH to avoid paying benefits. One DDS explained to me that many doctors are reluctant to hire additional staff because they are concerned what Obama Care will cost them. They would consider working with temps or independent contractors instead of hiring. A large dental group in my area has been replacing their "seasoned" RDHs with recent grads.
  • It is very difficult to find a full time job in my area; therefore, salaries remain flat.
  • I previously worked at a large "corporate" clinic (multiple offices in the metro area) that was managed by an out of state company. The hygienists were paid on a straight commission basis without benefits. I found it very stressful even though I did okay salary wise. The emphasis always seemed to be on the bottom line despite what the corporate core values stated. I'm afraid the wave of the future for hygienists might be this commission type based compensation. I don't thinks this will serve our patients well or keep the cost of health care down.
  • I have been told my wages are "topped out" for the past four years.
  • I heard of a new graduate being offered $12 an hour less than I'm making now. The job market is tight and there is a hygiene program in our area, so I feel bad for the new hygienists who are looking for work and maybe not being paid what they are worth because they are just eager to work in their field. I know their schedules and office expectations are the same as the rest of us.

Wisconsin

Responses: 37

Experience levels: 22% of respondents graduated after 2000 (29% earn $23 an hour), and 30% graduated during the 1990s (72% earn either $30, $32, $34, or $37 an hour).

Location: 30% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $35 (27%) or $29 (18%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $30 (20%) and $34 (20%).

Annual income trends: 30% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 27% projected a 2013 income in the $46,000 to $50,000 range.

Comments about Wisconsin

  • When I first graduated from hygiene school, my hourly rate WAS one-third of my production. That percent has continually declined every year. Now it is 15 to 18%. Very disheartening. Our market is flooded; supply and demand keeps salaries low. Dentists know this is to their advantage and control our licenses because it is all about the money! Surveys are one thing, but what action will be done to improve the situation? My hourly would be $45 if paid one third of production. I live in rural area but the dentist's fees are the same as urban!
  • Very few job openings for dental hygienists. Too many students are being enrolled and graduated per job ratio.
  • My income has gone down in the past few years. They lay me off for a week or a couple of days here and there because patients are just not making regular appointments for their recall. I am sure the economy has something to do with it. People tend to "put off" their 6 month recall and only come in once a year, or only when they feel they need to come in. We try to make their appointments six months ahead, but many won't. I also have not had a raise in pay for three years. I used to work in a big city. Things are much different in a small town.
  • If I wanted to leave my current job, I probably could not find another hygiene job. There aren't any.
  • I currently earn $2.50 less an hour than I made in 2010 and my production is higher and I have more duties.

Colorado

Responses: 36

Experience levels: 26% of respondents graduated after 2000 (43% earn $37 an hour), and 29% graduated during the 1980s (30% earn $38 an hour).

Location: 69% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $40 (27%), $37 (14%), and $38 (14%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $37 (27%), $38 (27%) and $43 (18%).

Annual income trends: 25% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 22% projected a 2013 income in the $56,000 to $60,000 range.

Comments about Colorado

  • My co-worker is making $43 an hour but has been working there for 11 yrs. I also know that there are hygienists making $35 an hour who are just out of hygiene school, and due to the economy there are hygienists working for about $38 hour.
  • Salaries have been frozen for over 5 years

New Jersey

Responses: 36

Experience levels: 22% of respondents graduated after 2000 (43% earn either $38 an hour), and 28% graduated during the 1990s (44% earn $36 an hour).

Location: 67% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $35-$38 (59%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $36 to $38 (46%).

Annual income trends: 26% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 33% projected a 2013 income in the $71,000 to $75,000 range.

Comments about New Jersey

  • In northern New Jersey, unemployment is high, and jobs are hard to find. Dentists are now offering a lower dollar amount per hour because they can. Numerous RDH applying for the same job. Recent grads are accepting a lower hourly salary.
  • I've been practicing 36 years and new graduates are getting same salary!
  • Unfortunately, I haven't had a raise in over four years. I am often told how lucky I am to have a job in this economy. So strange though because I have very little down time and have been very busy and so have the doctors. There are very few jobs in the area where I live and and an abundant amount of dental hygienists that are looking for work.
  • Many new RDH graduates accept lower salaries just to get a job. Which in turn makes it harder for those of us that have been in the field for a while to find a job at the salary level that we are used to getting.
  • No raise again this year due to decreased production. We're at the Jersey Shore, and most patients were affected by Superstorm Sandy a year ago and are still recovering very slowly.
  • I work per diem for an agency and one thing that annoys me is: doctors do not value my time. They schedule me to work an 8 hour day and the next thing I know is I have a 3-hour lunch. What they fail to realize is my time is as valuable as theirs. I am willing to do filing, replenish supplies, make phone calls, etc. (no bathrooms) to compensate for lack of patients in my schedule. If you schedule me to work a full day then this it what I want to be paid for. In many instances, I have driven a distance with tolls and gas and there is no consideration for my time, money and commitment.

North Carolina

Responses: 36

Experience levels: 33% of respondents graduated after 2000 (60% earn either $30 or $34 an hour), and 25% graduated during the 1980s (50% earn $39 an hour).

Location: 31% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $33 to $35 (50%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $29 to $32 (58%).

Annual income trends: 53% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 32% projected a 2013 income in the $51,000 to $55,000 range.

Comments about North Carolina

  • Salaries all over the board around this area.
  • In a dry employment market, I sought out a position that utilizes my expertise though not clinical practice. With the advancement of the ACA, new roles have been created for hygienists due to the expansion of Medicaid programs and new accountability requirements for providers.
  • Due to the economic downfall, I have been out of work for about a year and a half. Most DDS in this area are not offering Full time hours, just below like 28 so they do not have to give benefits. I was working 40 hours a week at $33 an hour and then my position was eliminated. (The DDS was not in charge; there was a board of people involved. We saw many others let go as well.)
  • I became a RDH in 1980. I have enjoyed it until everything became production driven, putting true patient health secondary. I feel in most offices, hygienists are treated as a necessary evil. I now do temp work and love the fact that I can refuse to work for someone who has poor quality of work or is a difficult employer. My favorite job has been working at our local health clinic where treating the patients' needs come first.
  • We recently had a week of vacation cut, bonuses eliminated, and are required to "clock out" if there is an opening in the schedule. This was all due to the decrease in patient flow. There has been an overwhelming amount of layoffs in the area, resulting in lost salaries and lost insurance benefits for so many of our patients.
  • I live in the Piedmont region of North Carolina; jobs are hard to find. I work for multiple employers, and most of my friends do the same.
  • My pay was much higher with the addition of benefits over a year ago, until my boss of many years retired. The new owner of the practice greatly reduced my salary and dropped the benefits that had been earned. Pay and benefits are much less, and jobs are harder to find. My new employer told me if I didn't like it, I could find somewhere else to work, knowing there is nowhere else to work. It's a whole new world out there for dental hygienists.

Tennessee

Responses: 30

Experience levels: 20% of respondents graduated after 2000 (the hourly rates reported were $29, $30, and $33), and 37% graduated during the 1980s (29% earn $35 an hour).

Location: 57% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $30 (20%), $37 (20%), and $38 (20%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $29 (33%) and $32 or $33 (33%).

Annual income trends: 40% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 67% projected a 2013 income in the $51,000 to $55,000 range.

Comments about Tennessee

  • Even though I have been working part-time for the past nine years, my employer has kept some benefits for me. Within the past couple of years, each has been taken away, one-by-one. The full-time employees have also taken a hit in benefits.
  • Too many hygienists and too few jobs. Salaries are kept low and our main job is to sell treatment. I know too many hygienists that are losing jobs because they have not sold enough for the practice and are working long hours to do recall and are graded by how much they sell instead of the quality of care they provide. It is a sad time to be a hygienist.
  • It is very difficult to find a job, most opportunities seem to be corporate dental offices. Also noticeable is a lack of benefits and with an overabundance of hygienists needing the jobs available salaries are decreasing and not increasing. It is discouraging.
  • Salaries are declining due to over abundance of students graduating with NO jobs available! Memphis has two dental hygiene schools and it's killing us here! Thankfully, some of these girls are not from here and moving back to find jobs... or hope they can find a job. It's so bad these days!! Very scary!
  • I have been a hygienist since 1981 and lost my 28-year job to a family member of his, and now work harder and make half as much. I feel as the profession has taken a down turn, and, as I have subbed at different offices, the salary is all the same. I can only surmise the salaries of hygiene are discussed at dental meetings or there would be somewhat of a variance. Speaking to other hygienist in this area, we all tend to agree. I know of one hygienist that has never held a full time job and has had her license for four years. Hopefully the job market will look better in the future.

Arizona

Responses: 28

Experience levels: 14% of respondents graduated after 2000 ($33, $37, and $40 were the reported hourly rates), and 29% graduated during the 1990s (37% earn $40 an hour).

Location: 86% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $40 (33%), $42 (24%), and $37 (14%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $38, $41, and $42 were the reported hourly rates.

Annual income trends: 29% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 38% projected a 2013 income in the $56,000 to $60,000 range.

Comments about Arizona

  • There were 240 dental hygienists applying for the latest and only job listing last month.
  • Market is saturated with hygienists. Hygienists are willing to take low pay and see many patients. I am disgusted with the profession and the demand to do more in one hour or less as patients' health continues to worsen. The new grads don't know much, I am shocked working alongside them. I am eager to change professions completely away from dental, as it's all sales and pushing products just like medicine. I do hope you post this.
  • Employment is difficult to find now, taking at least six months to find a good place to work unless you're okay working for a corporate office.
  • I recently read an article that the average hygienist in Arizona is 47 and there will be a large need for hygienists in 10-15 years. This is probably a huge statistic that schools are using to open more hygiene programs. Hygienists cannot find a job in Phoenix. The profession is hugely flooded. Something needs to be done about schools popping up on every corner and the inadequate education which is prevalent in our profession now.
  • Our market in Phoenix is over saturated with hygienists. There have been several new tech colleges that have opened and graduated their first RDH classes in the past two years. This has saturated the area with hygienists searching for employment. There are many new hygienists out of work; many dentists prefer a hygienist with experience. On the other hand, new hygienists out of school are taking substantial cuts in pay just to get hired. This further negates the standard low hygiene wage in the Phoenix area. I recently spoke with a hygienist who took a job for $32 an hour, just to get the job, without benefits.

Oregon

Responses: 28

Experience levels: 29% of respondents graduated after 2000 (58% earn either $35 or $37 an hour), and 29% graduated during the 1970s (38% earn either $38, $39, or $40 an hour).

Location: 64% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $37 (18%), $40 (18%), and $44 (18%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $46 (22%), and $35 or $36 (22%).

Annual income trends: 25% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 42% projected a 2013 income in the $71,000 to $75,000 range.

Comments about Oregon

  • There are currently more hygienists being produced in the schools than can be employed. This is driving down the wages.
  • Southern Oregon RDHs seem to earn about $3 to $5 less than in the Portland area.
  • I have been employed in the same office since I graduated six years ago. My current hourly wage is less than what most of my classmates were offered right out of school. I haven't had a raise in two years and with the current economic conditions I don't feel like I can even ask for one. The cost of my health insurance goes up significantly every year. Throw in the tax increases, and I'm bringing home less than I did a fee years ago. There are too many hygienists and not enough jobs, which further drives down wages and leaves me with no real options to look for employment elsewhere. I like my career, but it hasn't turned out the way I had hoped. I went through the stress of hygiene school after seven years of assisting, thinking it would improve my financial situation, but I'm still living paycheck to paycheck and falling behind on medical bills and my student loan. It's discouraging to work so hard knowing my paycheck is still not going to reflect the production I bring into the office.
  • Dental hygiene is not the only profession that has taken a hit over the last decade. In fact many from engineering backgrounds have moved into the health care field to earn an income. The difference I suppose would be that these professions control themselves but are controlled by economic conditions. Jobs and wages were lost. DH on the other hand is controlled by dentist. But, economic conditions again control wages and jobs. Most fields in the past decade have had a great many new graduates enter into a job search in the field, willing to work for less than a seasoned professional. It is happening in most fields, not just dental hygiene. I don't see the pity party going on in other professional journals. Times are changing and we need to change and adapt as well.
  • I went five years without a raise due to "the economy" although my dentist increased his fees four times in that time period. (from $70 to $90 for an adult prophy) Many of my peers have also missed out on raises. In addition, because of the economy, my schedule is often shortened, and these are hours for which I am not paid. My income has decreased in the past five years.
  • In the nearly five years that I have practiced, wages in the area seem to be at a standstill. However, I do hear of more offices providing production bonuses, likely because it promotes increasing production in a time of economic distress.
  • The glut of hygienists in the job market is astonishing to say the least. Unfortunately, I question why there are so many entering the field (with advertising that hygiene salaries of $60,000 a year salaries). Sounds very tempting especially only having to attend a two-year program. I am in a position right now of being unemployed due to my doctor retiring. I have been in search of employment since I first found out. And I am still looking. I think it is sad the direction things have turned.

Connecticut

Responses: 26

Experience levels: 31% of respondents graduated after 2000 (63% earn $36-$41 an hour), and 23% graduated during the 1980s (60% earn $39-$43).

Location: 36% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $45 (43%) and $40 (29%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings was $36-$38 (44%).

Annual income trends: 35% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 29% projected a 2013 income in the $61,000 to $65,000 range.

Comments about Connecticut

  • There aren't enough jobs available in southern Connecticut. I have not experienced this ever before.
  • Have found in my two practices that salary has not gone up in at least the past five years. Also, the only benefit I did receive was pay for his religious holidays (if it fell on my work day) and it was recently taken away. Doctor said he couldn't afford it any longer.
  • Very few permanent jobs available in Connecticut. RDHs are traveling an hour to get to their new jobs. New hygiene graduates are working for temp agencies to get their new careers started.
  • Older hygienists are staying in the profession longer thus making employment for newcomers scarce. Due to the economy I don't forsee raises in the future. Full time employment is unavailable so benefits are lacking.
  • I haven't had a raise in 5 years. I work in a multi-doctor practice and although our revenue is down due to the lasting effects of the most recent recession, the practice is still profitable. The doctors take care of themselves financially and do not recognize or reward the contributions of the other producers in the practice (the hygiene staff). The doctors are taking unfair advantage of the situation.
  • Too many graduates and hygienists in our area. There are no jobs here in Connecticut.
  • Bosses are key. So are office managers and consultants when it comes to hygiene rate. I work for a boss with a small patient base and two hygienists. A consultant told him that we should only get half rate or not get paid unless we have a patient. From when I started working in 2010 until now I've taken more than a 10k cut in pay. The schedule isn't the same from week to week, and he changes it based on if patients are coming in. This makes it very difficult to find additional jobs. If this keeps up I won't be able to pay my bills. I hope 2014 holds better opportunities.
  • In the area that I work, I find dentists are willing to pay my desired rate for a professional, experienced hygienist. However, I have noted that the same cannot be said if I drive outside the county. Friends of mine are working for $10 per hour less and they work about 10 minutes away from my office.

Maryland

Responses: 26

Experience levels: 22% of respondents graduated after 2000 (40% earn $43-$44 an hour), and 30% graduated during the 1970s (50% earn $41-$46).

Location: 63% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $42 (21%), $38 (14%), and $49 (14%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings was $41 (20%).

Annual income trends: 33% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 33% projected a 2013 income in the $66,000 to $70,000 range.

Comments about Maryland

  • I would like to work two to three days a week but I'm unable to find work. Currently I drive about 1 hour and 15 minutes to work when I can find work and that is about four days a month.
  • Too many hygiene schools, no jobs!
  • Too many dental hygiene schools in the area. I can't change offices, because I would have to take a drastic pay cut due to the tremendous competition with new grads. I also get absolutely no benefits, paid holidays, vacation time, etc.

Indiana

Responses: 26

Experience levels: 31% of respondents graduated after 2000 (57% earn either $30 an hour), and 31% graduated during the 1990s (67% earn either $33 or $34 an hour).

Location: 50% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $30 (31%) and $34 (23%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $33 (30%), $30 (20%), or $35 (20%).

Annual income trends: 31% work 30 to 35 hours a week. Of this group, 25% projected a 2013 income in the $61,000 to $65,000 range.

Comments about Indiana

  • I haven't had a raise at either office for at least 5 years. They're still blaming the poor economy, even though they are raising their fees for patients.
  • I see that our graduates in and around South Bend are getting jobs quite a bit faster, but we have moved to a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. The going rate per hour in South Bend is $25 to $28 an hour without experience, but $30 to $35 an hour with experience. I feel that our profession needs to move to a BSDH only as the entry level, and we need to work on getting hygienists in underserved areas without having to require a dentist being present. That will solve the less dentists graduating and more hygienists without work problem.
  • It is very difficult to find work. My salary is going down.
  • I have asked for my production level multiple times in the office where I am currently employed. The office manager (who is my employer's son) and my boss chose not to reveal this info to me... I work in a low-income area and see quite a few Medicaid pts. Hygiene services are practically given away!

Virginia

Responses: 26

Experience levels: 46% of respondents graduated after 2000 (44% earn $38 an hour), and 39% graduated during the 1980s (67% earn either $33 or $50 an hour).

Location: 69% of the respondents practice in metropolitan areas, where the most common hourly rates were $37-$40 (47%). The most common hourly rates for hygienists in small town/rural settings were $35-$38 (83%).

Annual income trends: The most common annual income range was $56,000 to $60,000.

Comments about Virginia

  • I am concerned with the dental hygiene field being over saturated and the continuation of new hygiene schools opening up. I went for an interview last month in Chesapeake, where I was among 35 hygienists applying for the hygiene position. I also applied for a hygiene position for federal civil service where I was among 415! Every time i hear of someone going to school for hygiene I tell them to think again.
  • I make 30% of production. Hygienists waste too much time being unproductive. Most offices haven't changes in the 42 years I've been in practice. It's time dental and hygiene schools and "experts" realize how inefficient the current practice mode is.
  • Some of the local employers have changed from commission to hourly rate and some have even reduced the hourly rate by $10.
  • I'm finding that full time jobs with benefits are not as abundant. Many doctors are hiring part-time hygienists. Very sad for those of us who need full time with benefits.
  • The pay rate and job market have gone down significantly in the past 8 years
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