Updated on February 7, 2024
7 min read

Dental Hygienist Salary (Average by State in 2024)

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Dental hygienists are an important part of the dental team since they preventive and therapeutic oral health care services. They are responsible for:

  • Cleaning teeth
  • Examining patients for signs of oral diseases 
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Reviewing your dental and medical history
  • Educating patients on proper oral hygiene practices

What is the Average Dental Hygienist Salary in the US?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for a dental hygienist in the United States is $81,360 per year.2 Salaries range from $60,000 to $100,000, depending on experience and location.

Dental hygienists in larger cities usually make more money than those in smaller towns. Additionally, those with more experience usually earn higher salaries. 

Average Dental Hygienist Salary by State

Here’s the average dental hygienist salary by state:3

StateAnnual mean wageHourly mean wageAnnual median wageHourly median wage
Alabama      $51,130      $24.58      $48,540      $23.34
Alaska      $115,510      $55.53      $125, 840      $60.50
Arizona      $83,300      $40.05      $78,140      $37.57
Arkansas      $74,360      $35.75      $77,360      $37.19
California      $108,200      $52.02      $99,440      $47.81
Colorado      $86,890      $41.77      $96,510      $46.40
Connecticut      $88,610      $42.60      $94,960      $45.65
Delaware      $83,560      $40.18      $80,080      $38.50
District of Columbia      $81,400      $39.14      $78,960      $37.96
Florida      $73,180      $35.18      $77,180      $37.11
Georgia      $73,140      $35.16      $76,240      $36.65
Hawaii      $81,970      $39.41      $77,730      $37.37
Idaho      $75,040      $36.08      $77,460      $37.24
Illinois      $76,640      $36.84      $77,270      $37.15
Indiana      $74,450      $35.79      $77,030      $37.03
Iowa      $76,010      $36.55      $77,030      $37.03
Kansas      $72,540      $34.88      $75,700      $36.39
Kentucky      $61,500      $29.57      $61,340      $29.49
Louisiana      $74,240      $35.69      $76,890      $36.97
Maine      $71,640      $34.44      $75,190      $36.15
Maryland      $89,340      $42.95      $98,360      $47.29
Massachusetts      $87,030      $41.84      $95,360      $45.85
Michigan      $66,720      $32.08      $62,180      $29.90
Minnesota      $79,820      $38.38      $77,810      $37.41
Mississippi      $57,670      $27.72      $59,440      $28.58
Missouri      $74,230      $35.69      $76,930      $36.99
Montana      $80,140      $38.53      $77,920      $37.46
Nebraska      $75,700      $36.39      $76,760      $36.91
Nevada      $89,460      $43.01      $97,340      $46.80
New Hampshire      $82,660      $39.74      $78,340      $37.66
New Jersey      $87,070      $41.86      $79,490      $38.22
New Mexico      $84,480      $40.62      $79,690      $38.31
New York      $83,600      $40.19      $78,470      $37.73
North Carolina      $72,500      $34.86      $76,820      $36.93
North Dakota      $69,440      $33.39      $75,440      $36.27
Ohio      $72,280      $34.75      $76,820      $36.94
Oklahoma      $83,290      $40.04      $79,380      $38.17
Oregon      $94,420      $45.40      $98,260      $47.24
Pennsylvania      $71,710      $34.48      $76,180      $36.63
Rhode Island      $77,140      $37.09      $77,980      $37.49
South Carolina      $65,440      $31.46      $62,500      $30.05
South Dakota      $74,600      $35.87      $76,550      $36.80
Tennessee      $68,770      $33.06      $75,220      $36.16
Texas      $75,970      $36.53      $77,600      $37.31
Utah      $74,110      $35.63      $77,510      $37.27
Vermont      $73,650      $35.41      $76,410      $36.74
Virginia      $83,150      $39.98      $89,930      $43.24
Washington      $106,200      $51.06      $99,940      $48.05
West Virginia      $61,050      $29.35      $60,430      $29.06
Wisconsin      $72,540      $34.87      $76,110      $36.59
Wyoming      $78,010      $37.50      $77,270      $37.15

10 Best Paying States for Dental Hygienists

The top-paying states for dental hygienists are:3

10 Best Paying States for Dental Hygienists

10 Best Paying Cities for Dental Hygienists

Here are the top 10 best-paying cities for dental hygienists:2

Metropolitan areaHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA$60.46$125,750
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$58.97$122,660
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$57.37$119,320
Anchorage, AK$55.90$116,270
Santa Rosa, CA$55.64$115,730
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$54.99$114,370
Fairbanks, AK$54.75$113,880
Napa, CA$54.10$112,520
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$53.65$111,600
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$53.48$111,240

What is the Outlook for Dental Hygienists?

Overall, the job outlook for dental hygienists is positive and expected to grow in the coming years. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics offers the following outlook for dental hygienists:4,5

  • Dental hygienist employment is projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031
  • Over the decade, there is an average projection of about 16,300 openings for dental hygienists each year
  • From 2021 to 2031, there is a projected numeric employment change of 19,000 for dental hygienists
  • Research linking good oral health and overall wellness and efforts to increase access to dental hygiene services should boost demand for preventive dental care, such as those offered by hygienists
  • Demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow as state laws increasingly allow dental hygienists to work at the top of their training

According to Zippia.com, the dental hygienist job growth over time is as follows:9

  • 2015: 199,466 
  • 2016: 203,882
  • 2017: 210,456
  • 2018: 213,987
  • 2019: 60,349
  • 2020: 26,452
  • 2021: 59,611

Education Requirements for Dental Hygienists

To become a dental hygienist, you must complete an accredited dental hygiene program. Currently, the Commission on Dental Accreditation is the only accrediting body for dental hygiene programs in the United States.

These programs typically take three years to complete. They include courses in:

  • Anatomy
  • Medical ethics
  • Periodontics

In addition to completing a dental hygiene program, you must also be licensed in the state you wish to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state but typically include the following:

  • Successfully completing an accredited entry-level program
  • Passing the written National Dental Hygiene Board examination
  • Passing state-level examinations

Other Similar Jobs 

If you are interested in a career in the dental field but don’t want to become a dental hygienist, there are other options. Some of these include:

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant assists the dentist with various tasks, such as taking X-rays and sterilizing instruments. They also assist with administrative duties, like scheduling appointments and billing patients.

Dental Laboratory Technician

A dental laboratory technician fabricates dental prosthetics, such as crowns and bridges. They also repair and adjust existing prosthetics.

Health Educator

Since dental hygiene is closely linked to overall health, a health educator can help educate patients on the importance of good oral hygiene. They may also provide information on nutrition and other lifestyle factors that affect oral health.

Dentist

A dentist is a licensed healthcare professional who diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders of the teeth and gums. They also perform preventive care, such as cleanings and check-ups. However, dentists require more education and training than dental hygienists.

Orthodontist

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on aligning and straightening your teeth. Braces, clear aligners, and retainers are common orthodontic treatments. Becoming an orthodontist requires an additional three-year Master of Science degree and residency program.

Summary

Dental hygienists provide preventive dental care, such as cleanings and check-ups. The average salary for a dental hygienist in the United States is $76,220 annually. 

They must complete an accredited dental hygiene program and be licensed in the state they wish to practice. The job outlook for dental hygienists is also positive and expected to grow in the coming years.

Last updated on February 7, 2024
9 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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