California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Dental Hygienists in California

May also be called: Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) and Hygienists.

What Would I Do?

Dental Hygienists are part of the dental care team that includes dentists, dental assistants, and dental technicians working together to prevent and control gum disease and the development of tooth decay.

Dental Hygienists work in pleasant, modern, well-lit, heated, and ventilated surroundings that usually have the latest dental equipment. Some of the locations in which they work include dentists’ offices, armed forces bases, nursing homes, and public health clinics.

Will This Job Fit Me?

This occupation will likely interest those who like helping people, enjoy detail work, like working with their hands, are adaptable, and are sensitive to the needs of others.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Dental Hygienists earn an excellent income, with median, full-time wages reaching almost $80,000 per year.

The median wage in 2016 for Dental Hygienists in California is $98,010 annually, or $47.12 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$84,974$98,010$112,649
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits usually include medical insurance, paid vacation, and sick leave - especially for full-time employees. Many employers provide retirement plans and discounts on dental work. Benefits vary substantially by practice setting and may be contingent upon full-time employment. Most full-time and part-time Dental Hygienists receive dental coverage.

What is the Job Outlook?

Dental Hygienists will enjoy excellent job prospects for the foreseeable future.

How Do I Qualify?

Dental Hygienists must be licensed in order to work in the State of California. This license is granted by the Dental Board of California.

Finding a Job

Direct application to private dental offices is an excellent way of locating openings. Sometimes one dental office will know of opportunities in another office. Private colleges and vocational schools may offer placement assistance, as do many community colleges. Many employers recruit job applicants through newspaper advertisements.

 Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).


Learn More About Dental Hygienists