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Benefits and wage

Hi all! I am looking into dental hygiene as it has been something I have been interested in for quite some time. Currently, I’m 27, I work as a sign language interpreter and am seriously considering quitting my job to pursue this career. I wanted to know about benefits and pay. Is this a career where you would get benefits through your employer? I’m sure it depends, just want to know what the majority says. Also, if anyone wouldn’t mind divulging what they got paid/hours worked when they started? I work at a school currently doing ASL but my salary caps at around 53,000 a year and I just feel like I need to earn more than that. I am absolutely willing to work my butt off but just wondering what those who are in the field are making if I’m not being too nosey. It is not all about the money, I am very interested in the field because it is something I feel I can be really good at. I’m just looking for where to start.

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1 Answer

There are some dental offices that offer benefits, but in my opinion, more don’t than do. I have never been offered benefits at any office I have worked at; no health insurance, no sick time, no vacation time. This is just my experience.
The pay really depends on the state you live, and it can actually vary county to county and even city to city. The best place to find occupational wages is your state’s employment website. Most states offer a breakdown from lowest 10%, to average, to the highest 90% of each area. This is much more reliable than say from salary.com. I’m licensed in Oregon and the average for the Portland, Oregon area is $45 per hour.
Do keep in mind that many hygienists do not work full time. Hygiene is hard on the body and not all dental offices are open 5 days per week. For me, the happy medium was working 3 days per week. If I wanted to work more, temping was an option.

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