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Dental Hygienists

Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.   (O'Net 29-2021.00)

Reported job titles:   Dental Hygienist, Dental Hygienist, Mobile Coordinator, Dental Nurse, Education Coordinator, Hygienist, Implant Coordinator   (view all job titles)
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  • Education & Training Requirements
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    for Dental Hygienists
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     Location Pay
    Percentile Wages Average
    10% 25% 50%
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 24.65   $ 27.60   $ 31.86   $ 35.30   $ 37.37   $ 30.84  
    Yearly $51,270   $57,420   $66,260   $73,430   $77,730   $64,140  
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 19.81   $ 26.10   $ 30.45   $ 34.65   $ 37.24   $ 29.44  
    Yearly $41,190   $54,290   $63,330   $72,070   $77,450   $61,240  
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 25.25   $ 29.61   $ 33.04   $ 35.87   $ 37.58   $ 32.00  
    Yearly $52,530   $61,590   $68,730   $74,600   $78,160   $66,550  
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 25.71   $ 27.75   $ 30.95   $ 34.72   $ 37.04   $ 30.93  
    Yearly $53,470   $57,720   $64,380   $72,210   $77,040   $64,330  
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2016.
    Note: 2015 release includes new geographic definitions based on 2010 Census.

    Employment Trends
    for Dental Hygienists
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 602 634 0.5% 13
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.

    Industries of Employment
    for Dental Hygienists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    Ambulatory healthcare services 96.2%
    Administrative and support services 1.2%
    Self-employed workers, all industries 0.8%
    Educational services; state, local, and private 0.4%
    Federal government, all industries 0.4%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.

    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  • Record and review patient medical histories.
  • Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  • Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  • Expose and develop x-ray film.
  • Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  • Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  • Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  • Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    Work Activities
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  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2008

    Work Styles
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  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Dental Hygienists
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Dental Hygienist Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Dental Examiners
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.

    Education and Training Requirements
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  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated July 2013

    offering instructional programs related to Dental Hygienists
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      Related Instructional Programs
    • Dental Hygiene/Hygienist.
     Search for schools offering these programs at
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .

    Other Resources
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  • Health Care Careers
  • A resource of the University of Vermont, the Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC) has four regional centers where you can learn about careers in healthcare and the college programs, finanical aide and other resoures needed to pursue that career.
  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Dental Hygienists.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Dental Hygienists :
  • Dental Hygienists
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists 

 State of Vermont Department of Labor