Alanya Dental & Implant Hospital – Emergency Dental & Oral Health Clinics

2017 RDH eVillage Annual Salary Survey, part 5: The stats from the bayous to the Dakotas

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The states with three of the largest urban areas in the Midwest are Illinois (Chicago), Texas (the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area), and Michigan (Detroit). Here’s some trivia to observe before reviewing the state-by-state statistics below:
Chicago had the highest percentage (63%) of hygienists with associate’s degrees. Detroit reported the highest percentage (42%) with bachelor’s degrees.
70% of dental hygienists in Dallas-Fort Worth work more than 30 hours a week. In comparison, only 36% in Detroit work as many hours. One possible reason is that 57% in Detroit think it’s very difficult to find a job there, compared to 35% in the other two cities.
37% of Chicago hygienists received a raise within the past year; only 22% received one in Detroit.
The 2017 RDH eVillage salary survey always leads to the “show me the money” question:
The most common hourly rate in Chicago is $35 an hour.
The most common hourly rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is $37 an hour.
The most common hourly rate in Detroit is $32 an hour.
Not much changes throughout the Midwest. Overall, 2,130 dental hygienists participated in the salary survey, and 36% of the responses are from the Midwestern states examined in this article.
The final article of the 2017 salary survey will profile Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The previous article in the series examined the statistics for eastern states; click here to review.[Native Advertisement]
To view previous articles about the 2017 salary survey, click here.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in RDH eVillage. Click here to subscribe.
Click on any of the links below for a shortcut to the data for the state of interest to you.
Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Dakota
Texas
Wisconsin
 
Arkansas
(data below based on information supplied by 11 respondents)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 82%
Bachelor’s degree: 18%
Master’s degree: 90%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 18%
20 to 29 hours: 18%
More than 30 hours: 64%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 27%
One to two years ago: 9%
Three to five years ago: 27%
More than five years ago: 18%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
$21,000 to $30,000: 18%
$41,000 to $50,000: 18%
$51,000 to $60,000: 45%
$61,000 to $70,000: 9%
$71,000 to $80,000: 9%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 45%
Daily rate: 27%
Annual salary: 0%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 36%
Most common hourly rates
$34: 17%
$35: 33%
$36: 17%
50% of Arkansas hygienists reporting daily rates said the rates range from $275 to $300 a day.
Illinois
(data below based on information supplied by 100 respondents; 67 responses came from the Chicago metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 67%
Bachelor’s degree: 31%
Master’s degree: 1%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 17%
20 to 29 hours: 30%
More than 30 hours: 51%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 34%
One to two years ago: 26%
Three to five years ago: 12%
More than five years ago: 18%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 11%
$21,000 to $30,000: 9%
$31,000 to $40,000: 13%
$41,000 to $50,000: 14%
$51,000 to $60,000: 19%
$61,000 to $70,000: 15%
$71,000 to $80,000: 12%
$81,000 to $90,000: 3%
More than $100,000: 2%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 92%
Daily rate: 2%
Annual salary: 1%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 10%
Most common hourly rates
$30: 9%
$32: 5%
$35: 15%
$37: 5%
$38: 11%
$39: 9%
$40: 6%
$41: 6%
Selected comments from Illinois respondents
I received a raise of $2 an hour in August, but it had been eight years since the last one.
The market is too saturated in Illinois. Assistants are allowed to polish. In my office, the assistants have their own schedule of “hygiene!”
Stop opening up new schools! With the excess of new graduates—and their willingness to work for lower wages—it depreciates our community as health-care providers.
There are not many job openings in my area (northern Illinois), but I do not know any hygienists who are looking for work. There are a few offices with openings currently. The pay rate in my office is good, but we have not had raises in about five years. Maybe we are at the top of our pay scale. $34-$40 per hour are the ranges of pay for the hygienists in my office. I have seen postings of job openings with pay from $30 to $44 per hour.
Several dental hygiene programs in our area have killed our field. With the combination of a flood of hygienists and the onslaught of corporate offices, hygienists are taking jobs that they believe are somewhat unethical or only there to make money, vs. serving a patient well and making money.
My experience is that corporate pays lower hourly wages. Some say that this is because of benefits; however, if you’re part time (which is most jobs out there), you’re not getting benefits anyways.
As a result of increased programs and large class sizes at the community college level, many offices prefer to employ part-time hygienists to avoid paying for insurance and benefits. To me, this has really diminished clinical dental hygiene as a career.
I have a pretty amazing job compared to the locals. Yearly raises, respectful boss, quality dentistry, great fellow employees, retirement benefits, vacation and holiday pay. It is unlike my peers.
I believe that allowing assistants to do coronal polishing is bringing down salaries in our area.
Indiana
(data below based on information supplied by 69 respondents; 18 stated they were based in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 75%
Bachelor’s degree: 22%
Master’s degree: 3%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 10%
20 to 29 hours: 38%
More than 30 hours: 51%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 30%
One to two years ago: 17%
Three to five years ago: 26%
More than five years ago: 20%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 9%
$21,000 to $30,000: 10%
$31,000 to $40,000: 14%
$41,000 to $50,000: 22%
$51,000 to $60,000: 27%
$61,000 to $70,000: 10%
$71,000 to $80,000: 7%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 77%
Daily rate: 4%
Annual salary: 9%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 14%
Most common hourly rates
$30: 13%
$31: 12%
$32: 10%
$33: 10%
$35: 13%
$36: 13%
Selected comments from Indiana respondents
In Evansville, the rate for a hygienist is $10 per hour less than in other cities. The dentists tightly control compensation and work collaboratively to keep it that way
A hygienist with several years of experience is overlooked for new graduates because the independent doctors are not wanting to pay the higher wages. The corporate companies are fixing the wages, and then tell you they give bonuses that will equal out with to higher wage. I find it interesting that the corporate offices are constantly looking for help. Just sayin’.
I work in an office where the number of hours/day varies from one day to the next. The schedule is tweaked during each day as patients may cancel (sometimes moving them from one hygienist’s schedule to the other so that there are few gaps during the morning or afternoon blocks of patients, but maybe a 2-4 hr lunch for one or both hygienists. In other words, if we don’t have a patient, we’re off the clock. Works well for the doctor, keeping overhead low; for the hygienist, not so much.
Employment in Indiana overall is difficult to find, and full time employment even harder. There are too many hygienists and not enough places to work, and it has been that way for some time here.
We have a couple hygiene schools within 40 miles of each other. This area is oversaturated with hygienists.
The job market in northwestern Indiana stinks. We have multiple hygiene programs within a 75-mile radius, and they pump out new hygienists every year. Every year during my review, the dentist makes a point to show me the high stack of résumés he has on file. What kills me is that the people who keep starting new programs are also very involved in the local ADHA. Exactly whose interests are they looking out for?
Dental hygiene is definitely changing for the worse. Jobs are hard to find, hours and income are constantly fluctuating. Most hygienists I know aren’t offered any type of benefits: vacation, insurance, paid holidays, etc. It seems the majority of dental offices are taking the corporate route; work as fast as you can and get the patients in and out. I worked so hard for my degree and to be licensed in three states, just to barely make $500 take-home a week and not be able to afford health insurance.
There are a lot of opportunities for subbing available in my area. The job market has definitely improved in the past six months. I wouldn’t say it is “easy” to get a hygiene position, but certainly the job market is finally making a move in the right direction

(data below based on information supplied by 22 respondents)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 16%
Bachelor’s degree: 27%
Master’s degree: 0%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 23%
20 to 29 hours: 32%
More than 30 hours: 45%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 45%
One to two years ago: 41%
Three to five years ago: 9%
More than five years ago: 4%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 4%
$21,000 to $30,000: 13%
$31,000 to $40,000: 9%
$41,000 to $50,000: 13%
$51,000 to $60,000: 27%
$61,000 to $70,000: 9%
$71,000 to $80,000: 18%
$81,000 to $90,000: 4%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 82%
Daily rate: 0%
Annual salary: 9%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 13%
Most common hourly rates
$29: 11%
$33: 11%
$34: 11%
$36: 11%
$37: 11%
$40: 16%
$42: 11%
Selected comments from Iowa respondents
I work 16 hours a week but do temp hygiene on my days off. My employer pays me $36 an hour. Temp work pays $32 to $35. Most dentists won’t go above $35 no matter how experienced a hygienist is. The field is too crowded with recent grads. I have seen resumes from recent grads asking $17 to $20 an hour.
Kansas
(data below based on information supplied by 19 respondents; eight are based in the Kansas City metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 63%
Bachelor’s degree: 32%
Master’s degree: 5%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 10%
20 to 29 hours: 32%
More than 30 hours: 58%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 26%
One to two years ago: 10%
Three to five years ago: 21%
More than five years ago: 21%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 10%
$21,000 to $30,000: 5%
$31,000 to $40,000: 16%
$41,000 to $50,000: 26%
$51,000 to $60,000: 5%
$61,000 to $70,000: 16%
$71,000 to $80,000: 10%
$81,000 to $90,000: 5%
More than $100,000: 5%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 79%
Daily rate: 10%
Annual salary: 0%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 21%
Most common hourly rates
$30: 12%
$33: 12%
$35: 12%
$38: 12%
Selected comments from Kansas respondents
Most salaries are low in this state. I do PRN so I can ask a little more. I don’t get the sense that the pay for a RDH has changed much in a long time.
In my experience, it is very hard to find employment as a hygienist in Kansas. It’s also been difficult to receive a raise even though I’ve presented my case to my employer.
Kansas allows scaling assistants to “clean” teeth. This allows dentists to keep hygiene pay lower and forces us to compete for jobs with nonlicensed applicants. My previous employer retired and sold his practice to a dentist that won’t hire hygienists. I had to find a new dentist after 18 years at the same office!
Louisiana
(data below based on information supplied by 20 respondents)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 10%
Bachelor’s degree: 85%
Master’s degree: 5%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 15%
20 to 29 hours: 25%
More than 30 hours: 60%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 30%
One to two years ago: 10%
Three to five years ago: 20%
More than five years ago: 25%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
$21,000 to $30,000: 20%
$41,000 to $50,000: 10%
$51,000 to $60,000: 40%
$61,000 to $70,000: 20%
$81,000 to $90,000: 5%
More than $100,000: 5%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 30%
Daily rate: 60%
Annual salary: 15%
Production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 10%
Most common hourly rates
Michigan
(data below based on information supplied by 117 respondents; 45 responses came from the Detroit metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 64%
Bachelor’s degree: 31%
Master’s degree: 3%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 20%
20 to 29 hours: 39%
More than 30 hours: 40%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 33%
One to two years ago: 24%
Three to five years ago: 20%
More than five years ago: 13%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 13%
$21,000 to $30,000: 12%
$31,000 to $40,000: 21%
$41,000 to $50,000: 27%
$51,000 to $60,000: 15%
$61,000 to $70,000: 9%
$71,000 to $80,000: 2%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 93%
Daily rate: 5%
Annual salary: 1%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 8%
Most common hourly rates
$26: 6%
$27: 6%
$28: 7%
$29: 9%
$30: 17%
$31: 13%
$32: 15%
$33: 9%
$34: 6%
$35: 10%
Selected comments from Michigan respondents
There are three dental hygiene schools within 80 miles. No dental hygiene society in my area. I moved here 15 months ago, and my pay dropped $10 per hour.
I work for a DSO, love the patients and the company; however, I am one of the highest paid in our territory. Most hygienists are paid between $23-$28 an hour, which is shameful! The argument for lower pay was to give more opportunity for a monthly bonus, but I’ve proven that both a decent hourly and a high incentive are possible. Job opportunities are higher with DSOs than private practice but difficult to be hired into. Following their model is essential to long-term employment making a sense of job security low if there are ever any concerns about ethics. However, always doing what is right under the scope of our license and right for the patient will ensure long term success!
I am told to clock out when I have a no show or cancellation in my schedule. I’m told to come in late, leave early and take a long lunch when schedule falls apart. No respect for hygienists anymore.
There is already difficulty in finding jobs (especially for new grads) in my area (Ann Arbor). It seems like the market is fairly saturated for now. Jackson Community College just started a new dental hygiene program for next year, and I worry about the market being oversaturated and pay decreasing as a result.
Our boss always lags behind on our raises and then does the standard $1 an hour raise even if it’s been three years! I used Google search for average hourly rates for our area, and he did finally bump us up to the average in our area!
Corporations are buying up private practices and making them a big business not a health profession. Dentistry is on the decline when it comes to patients’ best interest. It is big business for profit only. New dentists are being taught unethical behavior and patient care will suffer. The ADA and MDA do not monitor unethical behavior. Dental hygienists are finding it harder to find full time jobs with benefits. Offices are only hiring part time to avoid paying benefits. I have worked for the same ethical dentist for 25 years and feel very fortunate to be practicing top quality care and I receive top pay. Unfortunately, I am the exception in Michigan.
I work in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It is much harder to find a hygienist here so wages are much better with benefits. The metropolitan Detroit area and suburbs are highly saturated and wages are very low. I am paid $35 an hour. In Lapeer (close to the thumb), wages are significantly lower, $24/hr. If you are looking for full time, you will most likely have to work in multiple offices.
Minnesota
(data below based on information supplied by 59 respondents; 36 responses came from the Minneapolis metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 61%
Bachelor’s degree: 30%
Master’s degree: 5%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 12%
20 to 29 hours: 25%
More than 30 hours: 63%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 37%
One to two years ago: 25%
Three to five years ago: 10%
More than five years ago: 20%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 4%
$21,000 to $30,000: 2%
$31,000 to $40,000: 11%
$41,000 to $50,000: 7%
$51,000 to $60,000: 30%
$61,000 to $70,000: 16%
$71,000 to $80,000: 16%
$81,000 to $90,000: 9%
$91,000 to $100,000: 5%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 88%
Daily rate: 2%
Annual salary: 5%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 12%
Most common hourly rates
$34: 9%
$36: 15%
$37: 7%
$38: 17%
$39: 7%
$40: 9%
Selected comments from Minnesota respondents
Hygienists really need to be respected by the DDS. This is a difficult job, both physically and emotionally.
Increases are accrued only on fee increases. There has been no change in percentage of production for the past six-plus years since starting with the percentage of production pay.
I haven’t had a raise in 10 years until I just asked for one and got one. I was afraid to ask because of hearing how some large metro companies cut rates during the recent recession, plus the glut of hygienists on the market. My DDS does not automatically give performance appraisals or raises. It is demoralizing to have to ask and to be worried of the response.
Big shortage of hygienists in SE Minnesota.
There are too many dental hygiene colleges/tech schools in the state pumping out more and more dental hygiene graduates each year, which is lowering pay rates and making it harder to find full time gainful employment.
We have not had an hourly increase ever at my office. In 13 years, we have had eight different pay arrangements, always two steps forward then two back. Things promised, then rescinded, even though our hygiene department continues to increase production every year. We have lost valuable hygienists due to more competitive pay elsewhere.
Missouri
(data below based on information supplied by 42 respondents; 20 respondents indicated that they are based in the St. Louis metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 73%
Bachelor’s degree: 26%
Master’s degree: 0%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 5%
20 to 29 hours: 36%
More than 30 hours: 59%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 26%
One to two years ago: 33%
Three to five years ago: 21%
More than five years ago: 14%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 2%
$21,000 to $30,000: 7%
$31,000 to $40,000: 17%
$41,000 to $50,000: 26%
$51,000 to $60,000: 19%
$61,000 to $70,000: 12%
$71,000 to $80,000: 14%
$81,000 to $90,000: 2%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 88%
Daily rate: 0%
Annual salary: 7%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 7%
Most common hourly rates
$30: 14%
$32: 11%
$33: 11%
$36: 19%
Selected comments from Missouri respondents
I drive an hour each way to St. Louis because of the lack of opportunity in the small town that I live in and the surrounding area.
Many dentists in St. Louis don’t pay their hygienist what they deserve and appreciate what we do.
I worked for 21 years full time for one employer until 2006. Since then, I’ve had to work part-time for three different employers. None of them offer any benefits and they figure out how to cut your hours anyway they can. Dentists have no loyalty and view hygienists as money makers for their practice.
It is very difficult to find a job due to several schools being in this area and people are working longer due to not having enough money to retire.

(data below based on information supplied by 16 respondents)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 50%
Bachelor’s degree: 50%
Master’s degree: 0%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 25%
20 to 29 hours: 37%
More than 30 hours: 37%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 31%
One to two years ago: 37%
Three to five years ago: 31%
More than five years ago: 0%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 6%
$21,000 to $30,000: 25%
$41,000 to $50,000: 37%
$51,000 to $60,000: 12%
$61,000 to $70,000: 12%
$71,000 to $80,000: 6%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 94%
Daily rate: 6%
Annual salary: 0%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 12%
Most common hourly rates
$27: 12%
$32: 19%
$33: 12%
$38: 12%
Selected comments from Nebraska respondents
I work for a group that compensates with guarantee of no less than $30 per hour or 33% of collections, whichever is greater. As long as my schedule is full, I make around $38 per hour when practicing. I’ve read published comments that commission should be paid off production. This is not feasible since the practice never sees the full fee due to write offs. I’m very happy with this compensation structure plus benefits. I make an hourly rate of $35 for my administrative days, three days per week.
I have great benefits that most hygienists no longer receive: health insurance premium costs; all uniforms; all continuing education; travel and room and board expenses for continuing education and conventions.
North Dakota
(data below based on information supplied by nine respondents)
Most common hourly rates
Single responses were reported for $28, $30, $31, $37, $43, and $44.
Selected comments from North Dakota respondents
Many new graduate dentists are buying practices as the many experienced dentists are retiring in the area. As a result, experienced long-term RDHs are now having to reapply for their jobs, losing their jobs, or having to be satisfied with reduced pay. Two nearby (within 40 miles) dental hygiene programs release 40-plus new graduates each year who are eager to work for less.
In Grand Forks, the hygiene pay is very low compared to production, and dentists don’t see that or they care to ignore it.
Ohio
(data below based on information supplied by 97 respondents; 42 respondents indicated that they are based in the Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus metropolitan areas)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 65%
Bachelor’s degree: 28%
Master’s degree: 4%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 15%
20 to 29 hours: 34%
More than 30 hours: 49%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 27%
One to two years ago: 23%
Three to five years ago: 24%
More than five years ago: 19%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 9%
$21,000 to $30,000: 13%
$31,000 to $40,000: 18%
$41,000 to $50,000: 25%
$51,000 to $60,000: 15%
$61,000 to $70,000: 13%
$71,000 to $80,000: 4%
$81,000 to $90,000: 2%
More than $100,000: 1%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 88%
Daily rate: 3%
Annual salary: 5%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 8%
Most common hourly rates
$28: 8%
$30: 15%
$32: 16%
$33: 9%
$34: 11%
$35: 12%
$36: 7%
$38: 6%
Selected comments from Ohio respondents
Too many dental hygiene graduates in the market. New graduates are hired or those with only one to five years experience over those with 10 to 20 years in most full-time job openings in the last 15 years!
Recently the dental hygiene school in our area changed to a bachelor’s degree program. I hope it will help elevate the hygiene profession around here because employers don’t seem to care what education you have. All RDHs are the same to them as far as pay goes. Jobs are very difficult to find, and full-time work is rare. Many new graduates temp for a long time before finding steady work, or work at the offices that are known for a high turnover rate. Unfortunately, even for those of us with many years of experience stay at current jobs because of lack of opportunity to advance somewhere else. I would never recommend this career to someone looking to get into the dental field, and many of my peers wouldn’t either.
I feel most hygiene schools are painting a picture of dental hygiene practice that is not there. Full-time or even part-time employment is hard to find. Many hygienists have to start their career as subs, waiting for any type of permanent position. Also, most dentists try to employ one or more hygienists to avoid benefits. But since employers of 50 or less employees don’t have to give benefits, even our one full-time hygienist did not receive benefits. Yes, generally our wages sound good to all those that don’t have to pay for their benefits and get little to no other benefits, but take off the top what that costs us then look at our average pay.
Youngstown is a horrible area for dental hygienists. We are underpaid and jobs are hard to find. Very rarely do we get raises.
Many part time jobs are being utilized to support a hygienist. I teach dental hygiene and am concerned that the profession is being torn apart by corporate dentistry.
It is very difficult for graduates to find employment, let alone full time. I do not recommend dental hygiene as a career choice any more. Insurance companies do not help the situation either. Dentists are not working as many hours either, therefore do not need hygienists as much.
I am a temp only RDH in this area and haven’t had trouble at all getting jobs to fill my schedule. Biggest issue is a few dentists paying using a 1099.

(data below based on information supplied by 14 respondents)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 43%
Bachelor’s degree: 50%
Master’s degree: 7%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 0%
20 to 29 hours: 14%
More than 30 hours: 86%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 50%
One to two years ago: 21%
Three to five years ago: 7%
More than five years ago: 7%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 7%
$41,000 to $50,000: 7%
$51,000 to $60,000: 15%
$61,000 to $70,000: 38%
$71,000 to $80,000: 23%
$81,000 to $90,000: 7%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 57%
Daily rate: 50%
Annual salary:7%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 0%
Most common hourly rates
62% of those reporting a daily rate indicated a range of pay between $300 to $325.
Selected comments from Oklahoma respondents
It can be hard to find a job once you realize what kind of hygienist you are, what type of office you’d like to work at, and the type of doctor. I learned a lot about all of these while temping, and they helped me find the office that is perfect for me but it took time. I never temped for them, but I basically interviewed him and got the job because I knew I wanted it. Everyone is different and you have to find the right match for you.
Relatively easy to find two or three days of work per week at an office, whether it’s temping those days or a permanent part-time gig. But when it comes to finding a full-time position, it could take a year to find something.
South Dakota
(data below based on information supplied by five respondents)
Most common hourly rates
The hourly rates reported were for $30, $33, $35, $37, and $40.
Selected comments from South Dakota respondents
We feel as though there is a conspiracy among the dentists to put a cap on wages in this area. It is extremely frustrating and disappointing.
Worked for hourly plus commission above daily goal. Daily goal was raised to be unachievable ethically, when fees were raised was told that was my “raise” since the daily goal didn’t change. Still ethically unachievable. Live in a small area, limited job opportunities, combined with needing employment resulted in a work environment where hygienists were taken advantage of. Underappreciated, underpaid, bullied, and threatened. Hostile work environment, was private practice but run like some corporate offices (based on word of mouth, I have not ever worked corporate). Could not ethically work there any longer, found part time employment and temp here and there if it is available! Treated with respect and appreciated for my knowledge and skills!
Texas
(data below based on information supplied by 80 respondents; 51 respondents indicated that they are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, or San Antonio metropolitan areas)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 56%
Bachelor’s degree: 36%
Master’s degree: 4%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 10%
20 to 29 hours: 19%
More than 30 hours: 70%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 26%
One to two years ago: 25%
Three to five years ago: 22%
More than five years ago: 14%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 1%
$21,000 to $30,000: 9%
$31,000 to $40,000: 4%
$41,000 to $50,000: 10%
$51,000 to $60,000: 30%
$61,000 to $70,000: 25%
$71,000 to $80,000: 15%
$81,000 to $90,000: 5%
$91,000 to $100,000: 1%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 76%
Daily rate: 9%
Annual salary: 7%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 15%
Most common hourly rates
$36: 12%
$37: 14%
$38: 12%
$39: 9%
$40: 17%
Selected comments from Texas respondents
We have two hygiene schools in the San Antonio area, with a third location on the way. I find that the field is becoming saturated.
Saturated market. Older RDHs not retiring due to stagnant salaries. Few full-time positions. Moving to another state, so I’m worried about finding a job. Frustrating that new RDHs make the same as 30 years plus experience. Feel undervalued.
There is a dental hygiene program in Wichita Falls along with a military base. I believe that is the main reason for difficulty in finding employment in the area.
Earlier this year, the long-time hygienists (16 and 23 years) in our practice was making $49 an hour, but we were then knocked down to 31% commission with a guaranteed base pay of $288/day which comes out to $36/hr. The same amount as a new graduate higher in our office and another four-year hygienist in our office making $38/hr. Note, these hygienists are part-time and are paid hourly…no commission. So the point is: I feel the hygiene profession is becoming, or is being devalued as time goes on. A dental office needs the hygiene department to bring in people so the doctors can diagnose restorative work to keep the office financially functioning, and without us, the practice would suffer tremendously. As my colleague recently put it, hygienists are the heart of the office. If you stab the heart, all other aspects of the functioning system will die as well. I have been practicing 16 years at my current office, and I have been a witness on how the hygiene profession is changing and we are becoming less valued—thanks to corporate, money-driven practices, insurance-driven practices, and a dental office every other block.
Most big companies (like mine) only care about how many more patients a hygienist can see in one day. Since many private practices do not have health insurance, a single mom like myself have to stay put and hope for some changes. It would be nice to get some encouragements and some living increases without having to work like a machine each day. After all, we are what helping them to stay in business.
Corporate dental is very prevalent. Although it can be easy to find a job in dental hygiene it is difficult to find a full-time job. Many hygienists now piece together their week of work at multiple locations. It is not to be assumed that regular raises will occur in private practice.
Wisconsin
(data below based on information supplied by 88 respondents; 32 respondents indicated that they are based in the Milwaukee metropolitan area)
Highest level of career-related education achieved
Associate’s degree: 69%
Bachelor’s degree: 27%
Master’s degree: 2%
Average number of hours worked per week
Under 20 hours: 8%
20 to 29 hours: 37%
More than 30 hours: 54%
Difficulty in finding employment in dental hygiene
Length of time since last pay raise
Within the last year: 51%
One to two years ago: 18%
Three to five years ago: 16%
More than five years ago: 10%
Projected annual income as a dental hygienist in 2017
Under $20,000: 1%
$21,000 to $30,000: 8%
$31,000 to $40,000: 17%
$41,000 to $50,000: 27%
$51,000 to $60,000: 23%
$61,000 to $70,000: 16%
$71,000 to $80,000: 4%
$81,000 to $90,000: 3%
Reported method for how income is earned
Hourly rate: 93%
Daily rate: 0%
Annual salary: 5%
Percentage of production/collections for hygiene, or commission: 9%
Most common hourly rates
$30: 7%
$32: 13%
$35: 17%
$36: 9%
$37: 8%
$40: 7%
Selected comments from Wisconsin respondents
I am presently working solely as a temporary hygienist. I am blessed to be in a position where I do not need benefits which allows me to work as much or as little as I choose. After 37 years of full time employment, this is the perfect job for me as I am getting close to retirement.
In our area, new hygienists are being paid about $5 less an hour than myself. It’s very scary thinking I’m old for a hygienist when I have a number of years to work before I can really retire. At any moment, I could be downsized. Hygienists are everywhere here!
Salaries have been decreasing over the last five years, and there are no decent jobs available… and private practice barely offers benefits.
Employment opportunities in northern Wisconsin are few and far between. We are expected to do more and more with each appointment but yet we are given less time to complete the tasks that employers want done
The hygiene field in Eau Claire is very flooded. It’s extremely difficult to find a job here.
It is very difficult to find full-time employment with benefits in the Milwaukee area. I was very fortunate to find a solo practice in a small town with these benefits.
Even though I did receive a raise in the last year it was only 1%. I receive two weeks vacation prorated but that has never increased in 20 years of employment.
Very little turnover of hygienists in Madison area. Generally, new graduates work for sub agencies and then eventually get foot in door of larger clinics.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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