Mentor Advice Forumfurthering-my-career-in-dental-hygiene
AvatarKristin R Forte Staff asked 1 year ago

How many different options do I have to further my career in dental hygiene?  With receiving a dental hygiene Bachelors degree does my pay increase from that of my Associates degree?  What is the most prestigious job title for a dental hygienist?

8 Answers
Laura A. Mallery-Sayre, RDH, BSDH, MSDHEdLaura A. Mallery-Sayre, RDH, BSDH, MSDHEd Staff answered 1 year ago

The options for a career in dental hygiene are numerous! There are many openings in the public health arena, sales and marketing, clinical positions, and education. Some of the more experienced hygienists work as lobbyists for their associations. Most hygienists are commanding the same salary whether they have graduated from an Associate’s of Applied Science or a Bachelor of Science degree. That being said, when I was managing my husband’s practice, I hired the candidate with the BS at a higher initial rate than that of the hygienist with just an associate’s degree provided the background work experience was the same. This is because the candidate with the bachelor’s degree had two more years of educational experience to bring to the practice. A baccalaureate degree also places the individual in a better position to teach and to work in public health. Becoming a dean of a program is possibly the most prestigious title for any dental hygienist, in my opinion.

JoAnn Galliano, MEd, RDHJoAnn Galliano, MEd, RDH Staff answered 1 year ago

How many different options do I have to further my career in dental hygiene? A multitude!  Public health, hospitals, schools, educational institutions, corporate, advocacy, journalism, clinical…the list is endless, you just need to find your passion and go for it! With receiving a dental hygiene bachelor\’s degree does my pay increase from that of my associate\’s degree?  In California, it does not for private practice. For education, it could depending on the educational institution. What is the most prestigious job title for a dental hygienist? In my opinion, it’s one that makes you happiest.

Cynthia C. Gadbury-Amyot, MSDH, EdDCynthia C. Gadbury-Amyot, MSDH, EdD Staff answered 1 year ago

If you plan to do clinical practice, it is unlikely a bachelor’s degree will result in higher pay than an associate degree RDH.  If you see yourself doing things other than clinical, eg, practice management, management, etc, then a higher degree is going to help you get your foot in the door.