Dental Hygienist Schools: Get the Right Education

Dental hygienist schools can be found all over the country. Finding a school is not a rough task, but finding the right school could have a person pulling her hair out. When looking for the right school, there are several things to consider: location, professionalism and credentials are just a few to look for.

Location

Most people will just go to a school that is local. The advantages of staying local include being able to keep your current job, having free room and board (if you live at home), developing local contacts in the field and potentially having lower tuition as a state resident. However, there are advantages to moving as well. Traveling and meeting new people can be exciting, and this would give you the opportunity to do both.

Professionalism

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest things to find out about dental hygienist schools. Just contact your school of choice and ask them a lot of questions. It is best to research the school and the dental hygienist career path first, and then compile a list of questions to ask the counselor. The counselor is the expert liaison between the student and his career. If the counselor does not know the answer or does not know who to get the answers from, then this could be a red flag.

Credentials

This can be a little tricky. Dental hygienists have different duties and restrictions dependent on state laws. Schools prepare their students to pass the licensure exam upon graduation. Students who pass this exam are ready to start their career as an entry-level dental hygienist. Students looking at dental hygienist schools should verify the school has the same graduation goals as the student.

Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job has an above average expected growth rate nationally. It is projected to increase by 33 percent over the next 10 years. The pay is nice, at a $70K median across the country in 2012, with the lowest 10 percent earning around $46K. Students can earn an associate, bachelor's and master's degree in this career. There are works in place to create a doctoral program, but this has not happened as of yet.

Dental hygienist programs are great places to get started in a career. There are several career paths you can choose with this certification under your belt. Or you can make a very nice living just staying in the profession and learning from the experiences within the dental environment.

Tags: Dental, Dental Assisting, dental hygiene, healthcare, medical technology

Melynda Sorrels

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