While it certainly comes with it’s fair share of challenges, becoming a dental hygienist is getting more attractive than ever. The career path is actually becoming a better and better option for many individuals. Indeed, as the dental industry as a whole continues to grow domestically, it’s important for these practices to fill their assistants chairs with highly trained and qualified hygienists.
Along with this growth has come a plethora of positive factors ranging from money to flexibility to job security, all of which make the profession more desirable than one unfamiliar with its ins and outs might imagine it to be.
Whether you’re preparing to finish a certification or degree program in dental hygiene or are simply trying to learn a bit more about the field, here are a few starting points for you to consider:
While potential future industry, professional and personal growth opportunities are considerably good reasons to become involved with a given field, there’s also the present to consider. And, as things stand at this moment, the present state of dental hygienist careers is very good. According to multiple news outlets, those working in this sort of role currently enjoy a very respectable salary.
While there is bound to be some fluctuation in pay grade based on tenure, experience, continuing education and performance within the workplace, CareerCast HealthCare has reported that the median salary for the position is $70,210.1 Also, as always, it’s important to remember that median salaries are far from the financial ceiling in any industry.
With that said, it may be reasonable to assume that dental hygienists who perform at a high level, develop tenure and continue to add to their skill set may make upward of six figures at some point in their career.
Of course, considerably good money in the present doesn’t mean much without the potential for both retention and advancement in the future. If those are two things that concern you as you examine your educational path and future career prospects, then dental hygiene may be a field worthy of your time.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that professions relating to the health and human services industries will add the most jobs of any public or private sector between now and the year 2022.2 This is meaningful news for people in the dental hygiene line of work as it not only will drive the need for new job vacancies, but will also pave the way for advancement within existing roles and practices.
Specifically, the profession of dental hygienist is expected to grow roughly 33 percent between now and 2022, according to the same report. Whether you’re just beginning your education or are preparing to finish shortly, it’s going to be a good time to enter the industry.
Technology, change and security
To someone who is not well versed in economic and professional growth numbers, all of these statistics can seem like nothing more than a great deal of conjecture. Of course, that isn’t the case. These growth numbers represent a far larger shift in the health care environment in the U.S. today.
More health care service providers, dental practices included, are beginning to rely more on technology to help them complete their day to day routines. Everything from scheduling appointments to ordering supplies to outpatient care is influenced by the way in which we develop and further technology.
These changes, though, will only bring growth to the industry, and with this growth comes a fair amount of job security. So think about it – what’s to lose? As a profession with strong projected growth, a very respectable median salary, interesting work and the potential for excellent job security and advancement, enrolling in dental hygienist training may be perfect for you.
1) Best Jobs in Healthcare for 2015, CareerCast Healthcare, Staff Writer, December 2014 http://healthcare.careercast.com/content/best-jobs-healthcare-2015-dental-hygienist
2) Economic News Release, Employment Projections: 2012-2022, United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Release, 12/19/2013 http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.nr0.htm