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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 Nurse, Hygienist, Oral Hygienist, Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
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    Career Video
    for Dental Hygienist
     
    Dental Hygienist photo Dental Hygienist photo Dental Hygienist photo
    Career Video:   View video on Dental Hygienist
     


    Wages
    for Dental Hygienists
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2013
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 25.12   $ 28.00   $ 32.16   $ 35.86   $ 42.18   $ 32.47  
    Yearly $ 52,250   $ 58,250   $ 66,900   $ 74,590   $ 87,740   $ 67,530  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 24.79   $ 27.32   $ 31.18   $ 34.20   $ 36.01   $ 30.54  
    Yearly $ 51,570   $ 56,820   $ 64,850   $ 71,130   $ 74,900   $ 63,520  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 25.10   $ 27.92   $ 32.68   $ 38.01   $ 44.08   $ 33.26  
    Yearly $ 52,210   $ 58,080   $ 67,970   $ 79,060   $ 91,680   $ 69,170  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 25.76   $ 29.30   $ 32.97   $ 36.93   $ 43.89   $ 33.59  
    Yearly $ 53,590   $ 60,950   $ 68,580   $ 76,810   $ 91,300   $ 69,880  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2014.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Dental Hygienists
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2012 2022
    Vermont 539 639 1.7% 24
    Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA 191 226 1.7% 9
    Southern Vermont Balance of State 199 235 1.7% 9
    Northern Vermont Balance of State 149 177 1.7% 7
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released August 2014, area estimates released October 2014.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Dental Hygienists
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    Industry Vermont
    2012
    Employment
    Percent
    of Total
    Total Employment, All Jobs 539 100%
    Education and Health Services 531 99%
    Services-Providing 531 99%
    Ambulatory Health Care Services 529 99%
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released August 2014.
     


    Tasks
    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.
     
  • Provide clinical services and health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients and the general public.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Apply fluorides and other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
     
  • Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2009
     


    Knowledge
    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.
     
  • 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 June 2009
     


    Skills
    for Dental Hygienists
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  • 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.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
     
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
     
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated March 2003
     


    Abilities
    for Dental Hygienists
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  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • 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.
     
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2009
     


    Work Activities
    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
     
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2009
     


    Interests
    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 outsi
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists  updated June 2009
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Dental Hygienists
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    No state licenses listed for this occupation.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Dental Hygienists
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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 June 2009
     


    Schools
    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
    for Dental Hygienists
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  • Choose Nursing VT
  • A resource of the University of Vermont AHEC Nursing Workforce Research, Planning and Development, where you can learn about:
  • Becoming a nurse,
  • Student Nurse/LNA Externiship,
  • Re-Entry Information,
  • Research & Reports.
  •  
  • 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
     
  • O*NET™ Online
  • O*NET Online is an interactive web site for those interested in exploring occupations through O*NET, The Occupational Information Network database.   All of the descriptive information on this page comes from the O*NET database, version 14.0, released July 2009.   The O*NET database takes the place of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) as the nation's primary source of occupational information.
  • For additional information on Dental Hygienists , go to O*NET Online Detail Report.
  • For the O*NET Online home page, go to   
  •  

    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Dental Hygienists
    Back to Top
     
     
  • Dental Assistants
  •  
  • Dentists, General
  •  
  • Orthodontists
  •  
  • Prosthodontists
  •  
  • Radiologic Technicians
  •  
  • Respiratory Therapists
  •  
  • Surgical Technologists
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Dental Hygienists 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor