Dental Hygienist

Career Report assignment by Ashley Loken

Description & Job Duties

Dental Hygienists perform oral cancer screenings and take impressions of the mouth. They teach patients how to maintain their oral health. They also check gums and teeth for abnormalities, take x-rays, etc.

Educational Requirements and Training

You need an Associate degree or a Bachelor's degree. The best option for more opportunities in this field in the future, is a Bachelor's degree. Requirements vary by state.

Personality Skills and Requirement

A few skills you would need for this job are speaking and communicating well with others. You would need to give your full attention to patients and coworkers. Also good judgement and decision making, writing, coordination and many others.


The average pay for dental hygienists is about $33 per hour which would be around $70,000 per year. This of course depends on the state and the length of time you would be working. These stats were taken in 2012.

Advantages and Benefits

This job pays very well for the educational requirements. Also, this job is in high demand and will be in the next decade. You most likely will not have to work nights or weekends.


This career requires repetitive tasks. Bad breath and tooth decay can be unpleasant. You may have to work with rude and grumpy patients that don't want to get there teeth cleaned.


The projected growth is about 30% in the next decade, which is much faster than average. The projected job openings in the United States is 113,500. Anyone going into this field has a good chance of getting a job after graduation.

Advancement Opportunities

With a bachelors degree, you can continue growing in this field. With an Associate, your options are limited if you were only looking to be a hygienist or assistant. You could also work towards a Master's degree for more opportunities as well.

High School Courses

Some classes you could take in high school are biology, chemistry and math. Another could be anatomy. Any health-related courses are helpful.

Related Careers

Dental assistants are about the same amount of training as a hygienist. Medical Assistants and Occupational Therapy Assistants are also related. Lastly, Physician Assistants, Radiation Therapists and RN's.

Minnesota State

MSU offers a good dental hygiene program. Students here take two years of general education programs as well as two years of the hygiene program. They also have an online option for this program.

Job Opening

Midwest Dental in Worthington, MN is hiring!


I believe this is the career for me. It suits my skills as well as interests. I chose this career because this is what I'm interested in going to college for and I wanted to learn more about it.


"Minnesota State University, Mankato." The Department of Dental Hygiene – College of Allied Health and Nursing –. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

"Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

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