It seems that most jobs in the medical and dental fields have excellent job prospects, as well as pretty high salaries. Some of them have relatively short training periods, which is great for those who do not want to have to attend a four year program. One option that might be worth considering for these individuals is dental hygiene jobs. Almost all of these jobs are located in the offices of dentists, though there are some opportunities in other locations, such as the offices of physicians, employment services, or other industries.
The salary range for dental hygiene jobs is quite high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for these jobs is $66,950, with the bottom ten percent of hygienists making less than $44,180 and the top ten percent of hygienists making over $91,470 per year. This is a pretty broad salary range, but you have to consider that hygienists could have anything from a certificate to a Masters degree, so there is a wide variation in skill levels and training with this career.
Those who have been working at dental hygiene jobs for longer can command higher salaries due to their greater level of experience. According to PayScale, the median annual salary for someone with less than one year of experience falls between $36,062 and $51,859. Someone with five to nine years of experience will most likely make between $41,340 and $59,588, and someone with more than 10 years of experience usually makes between $40,754 and $64,553.
Where you live can also affect the salaries offered for dental hygiene jobs. Dentists in Alaska, Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada make the highest salaries, which range from an annual mean wage of $92,300 in Alaska to an annual mean wage of $75,650 in Nevada. However, the states with the highest concentration of hygienists employed are Vermont, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, and Oregon. Therefore, Oregon might be your best bet for getting a high paying hygienist job. If you want to live in a more metropolitan area, the highest paying metropolitan areas are all located in California. However, you might want to take into account the cost of living since it tends to be higher in California, and that might account for the higher wages available there.