Career Overview

Denta​​l Hygienist

Dental hygienists are trained to prevent oral diseases. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, “a dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional who plays an integral role in assisting individuals and groups in achieving and maintaining oral health. They provide educational, clinical and consultative services to individuals and populations of all ages in a variety of setting and capacities.”

There are seven professional market roles for a dental hygienist.

  1. Clinician
  2. Corporate
  3. Public Health
  4. Researcher
  5. Educator
  6. Administrator
  7. Entrepreneur

The entry-level degree to practice as a dental hygienist is an associate degree and the terminal degree is a master’s degree. Higher degrees expand the career options for a dental hygienist.

Degree Advancement

Dallas College has partnered with Texas Women’s University (TWU) to offer a dual enrollment program open to all accepted Dallas College dental hygiene students. The program allows students to complete their associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in two years. Students will be enrolled in both colleges simultaneously.

Students must be organized with strong study and time management skills to be successful in the dual enrollment program. For more information, contact Professor Am​y Teagu​e, Dental Hygiene Dual Enrollment Program Liaison at

The field of dental hygiene is expanding with many opportunities for career growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Dental hygiene demand is projected to grow 8.9% between 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for occupations.
  • Dental hygiene has 16,300 job openings annually.​​
  • The demand for dental hygienists increases each year as state laws continue to evolve, which allows dental hygienists expanded functions and to work at the top of their training.
  • The median pay is $37.41 per hour, but varies by state.

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