{1 - 24} GreyGrey
{25 - 49} GreenGreen
{50 - 499} BlueBlue
{500 - 4999} OrangeOrange
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What’s your pay?

I’m a new graduate with a B.S in dental hygiene and the office I have been interested in working on offered me $26/hour working 6 days a week from 9-5 with a one hour lunch break. Is this reasonable or did I set the bar low by taking this? My biggest worry is employers taking advantage of me and I don’t know how (or if I even should) bring up the conversation again. Any input would be greatly appreciated!



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5 Answers

Wages vary not only state to state, but county to county. The best place to get an idea of what wages look like in your area is your state’s employment department. Most state employment websites give breakdowns of wages according to occupation. This information tends to be more accurate than salary.com or other generalized websites like that. Even without knowing what state you are in, $26 per hour seems very low to me. I’m licensed in Oregon and that’s what dental assistants make in the Portland area. Again, check your state’s employment department website though.

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I’m in California and pay can range from 40-55, even 60 in some well off areas. My first job at a corporate office started me off at 39, with a 30% bonus if I made over my production. I took it because, out of all the jobs that I interviewed for, they were the only one to job offer a fresh out of school Hygienist. I would take Kara’s advice an look what your state offers. It took a few more offices for me to find a good one with good pay. Just be patient.

RDH2016

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In CA also, between 35 and 40 but I have a degree from Morocco

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I agree the price seems low. I am a relatively new HYG, practicing three years. My first job (still my current office) started me off at $35 straight out of school, 8-5, 5 days a week, 1 hour lunch. Small single doctor practice. After 2…2 1/2 years I got a $1 raise. Many friends I had graduated with claimed to be making more just starting out $37 to $40…but I love my location, the doctor, and the work vibe, so I’m willing to sacrifice a few $ for supreme job satisfaction. It isnt all about the pay…does the doc keep hyg instruments sharpened. Does she/he buy good quality hygiene tools and accessories for you…is the office fun to work in. Feel it out and don’t be afraid to look elsewhere if you aren’t completely satisfied.

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It’s tricky, Offices and areas vary. I work in WA on one of the Islands up here and my pay is 60/hr w/ health ins, PTO, and paid holidays. When I graduated I was making 43/hr, I changed offices and then made 47/hr, and my last change put me at 60/hr. I’ve always left offices due to ethical issues in patient care and staff treatment, not because of money. That being said, I’ve gained a lot of experience with each office and feel comfortable asking for compensation that I feel is worth my skills and excellent patient care standards.

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