Southwestern College

Career Options

After graduating with an Associate’s Degree, the dental hygienist primarily provides preventive and therapeutic services in a dental office setting or clinic. They may also provide their services in public health settings, schools, skilled nursing facilities and mobile clinics.

Those with a baccalaureate degree or higher may also serve as an administrator/manager for community dental health programs or dental product companies; an educator in dental hygiene or dental school programs; or a researcher in a university or corporate setting.

EMPLOYMENT Opportunities

  • Full/part time hours
  • Private practice/public health/ outreach settings
  • Teaching/administration in dental hygiene and dental assisting programs
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Corporate representative/clinical educator
  • Research

Salary and Benefits

  • Varies depending on geographic location, type of practice, employment setting, and responsibilities
  • Benefit packages may be provided through employers and/or as a member of the American Dental Hygienists' Association


  • Very portable profession
  • Prestige/Professional - highly skills discipline
  • Variety - work with diverse populations and cultures
  • Creativity - education/motivating diverse populations and various settings
  • Flexibility - full-part time employment available to match your lifestyle
  • Security - employment opportunities available year round

Career Development

  • Life-long learning is essential to maintain current knowledge of techniques and materials
  • Local, state, and national dental organizations offer professional development opportunities
  • Bachelor/Master's degree completion programs offered at colleges and universities - many online
Last updated: 4/23/2013 12:22:09 PM