Dental Hygienist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The dental hygienist salary in the United States is higher than any other country. In Australia and New Zealand, these professionals make around AU$43 and NZ$45 per hour, which is $32.00 United States dollars. Dental hygienists experience differences in salary based on their skills and work experience. These differences impact salary more based on country explored. The factors impacted salary such as work experience, work environment, skills, and job outlook will be discussed below.

This article explores the salary and career of dental hygienists in seven countries. The country you choose to work in will impact ultimately impact how much money you can make in this field.

female dental hygienist holding the patient's chart

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make per Year by Country?

The data seen in the table is taken from payscale.com with the exception of India. There was not enough data on India.

Dental Hygienist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $32.00 C$35.00 ($26.24) E26.00 ($28.30) AU$43.00 ($32.71) NZ$45.00 ($32.23) Rs 56.25 ($0.84) R168.00 ($12.03)
Annual Pay $51,916 C$52,028 ($38,999) E25,294 ($27,536) AU$62,684 ($47,680) NZ$60,000($42,976) Rs 108,000 (Rs 1,613) R143,291 ($10,264)

Dental Hygienist Salary Influencing Factors

The role of dental hygienist is found in every country. However, the name differs. Payscale.com lists these professionals as dental hygienists or oral hygienists. There was not enough data on the salary of dental hygienists working in India or New Zealand and their salary was taken from Indian Dental Hygienist and Technologist Association and from careersNZ.

1. Location

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in the US?

In the United States the dental hygienist salary ranges from $24.37 to $42.11 an hour. If they receive overtime it is up to $60.51/hour. The bonus for these professionals can be up to $3,025. Commission can be significant depending on productivity. It can reach up to $20,482. Profit sharing is dependent on the office where they work and it ranged from $487.96 to $5,694 dollars. The annual salary ranges from #31,069 to $73,315 dollars.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in Canada?

Dental Hygienists in Canada make between C$35,005 and C$81,139 dollars annually. The regular hourly rate is between C$26.63 and C$48.22 and the overtime hourly pay is C$73.42. They do not typically get a profit share. Their bonus is up to C$2,875 and commission is C$3,000 dollars. The greatest increases in salary are in the first ten years as a dental hygienist and after 20 years of work.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in the UK?

The annual dental hygienist salary in the United Kingdom is E19,393 for the 10th percentile and E48,054 for the 90th percentile. Their bonus is very small at up to E1,021. They earn E19.57 and E34.62 hourly and their overtime wage is E19.91. The total take home pay for the dental hygienist salary in the United Kingdom is between E22,827 and E70,229.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in Australia?

In Australia, the dental hygienist salary varies between AU$43,597 and AU$94,369 dollars. This is an hourly rate of AU$27.74 to AU$57.00 with overtime pay between AU$10.30 to AU$110.37 dollars. The growth rate of salary in Australia plateaus after 10-20 years in the field. As a matter of fact, dental hygienists in Australia will earn AU$53,328 to AU$117,802 dollars.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in New Zealand?

Dental hygienists in New Zealand will most likely work part-time for a few different dentist offices. Due to this it is hard to know what their bonus or commission will be. The hourly rate for these professionals starts at NZ$35.00 and ends at NZ$60.00 an hour when they are senior dental hygienists. It is easier to become a Dental Hygienist in New Zealand than Australia and the license can transfer between the two.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in India?

The pay for dental hygienists in India is directed by the Ministry of Finance for those who work in the Central Government Hospitals. In 2005, this was directed to be Rs 5000-8000 a month. Nowadays, the average dental hygienist pay is Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 a month. This averages to Rs 50 to Rs 62.50 hourly and Rs 96,000 to Rs 120,000 annually. This is a small salary band for India where other professions have more disparity in income.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in South Africa?

In South Africa, dental hygienists are known as oral hygienists. The hourly rate for these professionals is R98.99 to R493.16 with an overtime rate of R100.00. They can expect a bonus of up to R18,121. The annual salary is R91,010 to R242,267. Their total salary is between R94,763 to R327,640.

2. Experience

Dental hygienists in Australia and South Africa experience a drastic increase in salary as they gain more than 20 years of experience. The percentage increases are 23 and 68, respectively. In Canada, these professionals make 15% more than the median salary C$52,028 dollars. In the United States, the difference between entry-level and senior dental hygienists is small with only a 15% difference between the two.

These differences in percentages give some insight into how work experience impacts the salary of these professionals. While work experience is considered to significantly increase skills in South Africa, it does not connote a more advanced professional in the United States or Canada. Taken from the perspective of pay, these professionals are considered experts in the United States at about five years and are considered experts in South Africa at about 15-20 years of work experience.

3. Industry

Dental hygienists in all countries work in a similar working environment. They can work in public dental clinics, government-run dentist offices, or private dental clinics. Regardless of industry, certain skills will lead to increases in pay. In the United States, dental hygienists who can do restorative work will earn 26% more than the average. In Canada, the skills that are valued are anesthetic and periodontics while periodontic skills are also valued in Australia.

Dental hygienists who work in the US in dentist offices experience the highest pay at $73,050 dollars while those who work in offices with other health practitioners will make $68,010 dollars.

Schedule & Working Hours

While dental hygienists receive overtime pay, extra hours are not normally expected. While their job is highly rewarding, it requires significant focus and manual labor with their hands. This makes working extra hours more likely to cause mistakes. One of the considerations in the schedule of dental hygienists is that to get full-time hours they may have to work in more than one dental office. Dentists hire multiple part-time hygienists.

Bonuses & Benefits

Dental hygienists bonuses and benefits will vary based on the country and where they work within that country. Across all countries some employers will offer benefits like retirement or life while others will not. Health benefits are not extremely common for these professionals as can be seen in the table below.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 24 17 7 7 5 11
Dental 42 38 34 29 52 22
Vision 11 9 1 2 3

Career Outlook

With the increased focus on whole body health, which includes oral health, the job of a dental hygienist is important and the industry is growing. It is a female dominated profession regardless of country. The education differs in each country to become certified but a two to three-year program is fairly typical as it is seen in New Zealand and the United States.

In the United States, the job is expected to grow by 19% by the year 2024. It is also growing in New Zealand. To look for the states with the highest number of job openings, one would look at future demographics for that state and the current location quotient of dental hygienists. Oregon is one of the states that has the highest incoming population and thus it would be a smart place to explore a job in general where people are leaving New Jersey and thus it might not be as smart to try and get a position as a dental hygienist there.

Conclusion

Overall, a dental hygienist career is something that is seen worldwide. This is because all people need to take care of their oral hygiene. Dental hygienists receive a good salary and enjoy one of the lowest stress jobs. They help to reduce the work of dentists and thus reduce the total cost of dental care.

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