Hygienists, or dental hygienists, earn a mean salary of $73,440 in the United States. The mean hygienist salary is C$72,000 ($53,320 USD) for those in Canada. Earnings for hygienists in the United Kingdom run from £22,000 ($28,360 USD) to £41,500 ($53,497 USD), while the mean compensation is AU$89,685 ($66,313 USD) in Australia. New Zealand-based hygienists have a mean salary of NZD$88,693 ($62,738 USD).
Learn below how experience and setting impact pay for these professionals.
How Much Does a Hygienist Make?
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Hygienist Salary Determinant Factors
Generally, dental hygienists practice in dental offices and clinics. In some locations, hygienists may offer their services on a contract basis to more than one dentist. Larger-size dental practices can expect higher salaries, though many dental offices have one dentist.
Hours worked also contributes strongly to what a hygienist can expect to earn. Part-time hygienists populate a significant portion of the dental field, which may limit earning prospects. Earnings can increase with more clients served and experience.
1. How Much Does a Hygienist Make by Country?
Hygienist Salary in the US
In the United States, the mean pay for a hygienist stands at $73,440 as of May 2016. On a median basis, pay runs $72,910, with the top ten percent of salaries running above $100,710.
Hygienist Salary in Canada
Hygienists in Canada hold a mean pay of C$72,000. Earnings range from C$52,197 to C$98,819.
Hygienist Salary in the UK
In the United Kingdom, a dental hygienist can look forward to a salary between £22,000 and £41,500.
Hygienist Salary in Australia
The mean salary for hygienists in Australia amounts to AU$89,685. Pay for these professionals starts around AU$53,201 and ascends to AU$121,615.
Hygienist Salary in New Zealand
According to the New Zealand Government, dental hygienists in that country make between NZD$35 and NZD$60 per hour. For hygienists who work full-time, or 40 hours a week, annual pay runs from NZD$72,800 to NZD$124,800. SalaryExpert reports a mean pay of NZD$88,693.
2. How Much Does a Hygienist Make According to Experience?
In the United States, a new dental hygienist earns, on a median basis, $63,000. Upon gaining five years of experience, median pay grows to $69,000. At ten years, the median slightly increases to $71,000. Late-career hygienists, having more than 20 years in the field, earn a median pay of $72,000.
New hygienists in Canada earn a median pay of C$66,000. The figure rises to C$75,000 for hygienists with five years of experience. At ten years of work, the median increases slightly to C$80,000. With twenty years or more in the profession, hygienists receive a median of C$83,000.
For dental hygienists in the United Kingdom, entry-level salaries fall between £22,000 and £26,000. The pay runs from £28,500 to £35,000 for those who achieve “Experienced” status. At the “Highly Experienced” level, earnings can reach £41,500.
In Australia, the primary jump in median pay occurs between entry-level and five years of experience, from AU$82,000 to AU$104,000. Thereafter, the median pay remains essentially level as work experience accumulates. At the ten-year stage, the median inches to AU$106,000. Hygienists with more than 20 years in the field earn a median of AU$104,000.
Generally, entering hygienists earn NZD$35 per hour. With two to three years in the job, hourly rates can reach NZD$45. Those with more than five years of experience or supervisors take in as much as NZD$60 per hour.
3. How Much Does a Hygienist Make According to Work Environment?
Hygienists in “Offices of Dentists” in the United States take in, on average, $73,740. The “Home Health Care Services” sector held the highest reported salaries, at $86,120 per year.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service considers dental hygienists to be “oral practitioners.” Pay for oral practitioners generally runs from £22,128 to £28,746. Oral health practitioner specialists make from £26,565 to £35,577, while oral health practitioners (advanced) can fetch from £31,696 to £41,787. Hygienists who work for themselves are compensated based on the number of patients they treat.
Hygienists in orthodontist practices make eight percent above average in Australia, while those with periodontics skills achieve 12 percent higher than the mean.
As reported by the New Zealand Government, hygientsts work as contractors for one or multiple dentists. Therefore, they receive pay by the hour in most cases.
The dental hygiene field features a significant number of part-time workers. One out of two hygienists in the United States logged less than full-time hours in 2014. In Canada, 61 percent of hygienists and dental therapists work full-time. The standard work week for United Kingdom hygienists lasts 37 to 40 hours.
Australia has a relatively low proportion of full-time dental hygienists, with 55.1 percent of “Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists” fitting that category. Full-time hygienists in the country average 35.5 hours per week.
Work shifts, especially in dentist offices, take on a daytime and weekday nature as a general rule. For instance, most hygienists in the United Kingdom will work between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Office hours may run into evenings to accommodate schedules.
Bonuses and Benefits
Hygienist bonuses in the United States go from a minimum of $293.75 to a maximum of $5,006. Those who participate in profit sharing reap benefits ranging from $868 to $5,039. Commissions run between $513 and $24,179.
In Canada, bonuses for hygienists start at around C$307 and peak at C$3,086. Commissions contribute C$3,000 to earnings of those who receive them.
Demand for dental hygiene is supported by an increasing appetite and need for cosmetic dental services such as whitening of teeth. Older populations are expected to rely on hygienists to preserve teeth, while parents wish to thwart cavities or the effects thereof in their children. Job growth among various countries may differ for reasons such as the size of the profession.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19 percent jump in employment of hygienists through 2024, or an additional 37,400 professionals in the field.
Canada should have 10,000 job openings for dental hygienists and dental therapists by 2024, with 10,900 projected to seek jobs in the field.
As of November 2015, Australia had 7,600 dental hygienists, technicians and therapists. Job openings by November 2019 should be no larger than 5,000.
The New Zealand Government rates prospects as “good” for aspiring hygienists, citing demand for their services.
Earnings in the dental hygiene profession can grow from working more hours, serving more patients and accumulating experience. Those who work on a contract basis can negotiate pay and achieve flexible work schedules. The need for hygienists and their services may sustain employment prospects, though the size of the professions may suppress some job growth.