Dental Hygienist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The dental hygienist salary in the United States is $54,740 per year, that is higher than in any other country. In Canada, the same professional makes C$57,907 ($44,738) every year, while in the UK they make about £29,834 ($39,251) per year. Australian dental hygienists make around AU$60,823 ($43,207) per year, while in New Zealand these professionals make abound NZ$47,932 ($30,996) each year.

In India, a dental hygienist makes Rs1,301,760 ($17,533) per year, meanwhile, in South Africa, the dental hygienist salary is at R198,775 ($13,587) every year. Dental hygienists experience differences in salary based on their skills and work experience. The factors that impact salaries such as work experience, work environment, skills, and job outlook, will be discussed below.

female dental hygienist holding the patient's chart

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

Dental Hygienist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $33.39 C$35.69 ($27.55) £26.82 ($35.25) AU$45.09 ($31.98) NZ$40.62 ($26.22) Rs 33.00 ($0.44) R250 ($17.07)
Annual Pay $54,740 C$57,907 ($44,738) £29,834 ($39,251 AU$60,823 ($43,207) NZ$47,932 ($30,996) Rs 1,301,760 ($17,533) R198,775 ($13,587)

Dental Hygienist Salary Influencing Factors

The role of a dental hygienist is found in every country. The salary data seen in this articles for dental hygienists is taken from Payscale.com.

1. Location

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in the US?

In the United States, the dental hygienist salary ranges from $25.06 to $42.98 an hour. If they receive overtime it is up to $65.32 per hour. The bonus for these professionals can be up to $4,971 per year, while commission can be significant depending on productivity and it can reach up to $18,383 each year. Profit sharing is dependent on the office where they work and it ranges from $497 to $4,981 per year. While the annual salary ranges from $48,441 to $88,534.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in Canada?

Dental Hygienists in Canada make between C$53,963 and C$100,490 annually. The regular hourly rate is between C$27.90 and C$48.45 and the overtime hourly pay ranges from C$22.01 to C$75.73. They usually also get a profit share of around C$1,000 per year, while their bonus ranges from C$195 to C$3,076 every year. They also get a commission of up to C$10,000 per year.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in the UK?

The hourly pay for a dental hygienist working in the UK ranges from £19.36 to £35.18. Their bonus is very small at up to £650 per year, and they can also earn hourly overtime of about £24.50. The total annual take-home pay for the dental hygienist salary in the United Kingdom is between £25,647 and £72,447.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in Australia?

In Australia, the dental hygienist salary varies between AU$58,219 and AU$120,394 per year, with an hourly rate ranging between AU$30.44 and AU$58.69. They also get overtime paid up to AU$108 per hour, while they also get bonuses ranging from AU$101 to AU$5,068 per year, and profit sharing of up to AU$20,000 every year.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in New Zealand?

Dental hygienists in New Zealand make annual bonuses of up to NZ$350. Meanwhile, the hourly rate for these professionals starts at NZ$25.64 and ends at NZ$52.02. And the total pay per year ranges between NZ$49,758 and NZ$107,441.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in India?

Bonuses for dental hygienists in India stand at Rs 520,000 per year, while profit sharing is at Rs 125,000 every year. The total annual income for professionals living in India starts from Rs 181,207 to Rs 3,732,883.

How Much Does a Dental Hygienist Make in South Africa?

In South Africa, bonuses range from R3,959 to R19,727 per year. Meanwhile, the annual dental hygienist salary ranges between R113,530 and R410,312.

2. Experience

Dental hygienists living in the US make $63,000 per year at the beginning of their career, this salary rises gradually over the years reaching as much as $73,000 after 20 years of experience. Canada sees a similar rise, from C$66,000 for an entry-level dental hygienist to C$83,000 per year after 20 years on the job or even more.

A similar situation we see in the UK as well, where a beginner dental hygienist makes around ₤45,000 per year, having a gradual rise in salary until it gets to AU$106,000 at the senior level. Meanwhile, in Australia this is a bit different, starting from AU$82,000 per year at the beginner level, to as much as AU$106,000 every year for the senior level.

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.

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 33 18 6 5 6 50
Dental 38 35 23 22 13 100 8
Vision 13 10 1 2 6 50

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 a three-year program is fairly typical as it is seen in New Zealand and the United States.

In the United States, the job outlook is expected to grow by 20% by the year 2026. 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, so 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. If you are interested in this field, you can also look at the dental assistant job.

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