For people who are thinking about continuing their education or those who are considering a new career or a career change, the dental profession is one that offers not only significant job opportunities but also positions that are well-paid with great benefits.
One such position is that of a dental hygienist. Becoming a dental hygienist can be a very rewarding career as the demand for dental hygienists is high and has been showing consistent growth. Also, the process of becoming a dental hygienist is neither too long nor too complicated.
Here are five reasons why you should consider enrolling in a dental hygiene continuing education program today:
Because there is always a demand for dental hygienists, there are always jobs for these professionals.
Since dental problems affect more than 70 percent of the population at some point in their lives, and hence, there are plenty of patients, there will typically be employment opportunities.
Dental hygienists have one of the lowest rates of unemployment in North America, and job opportunities for dental professionals are consistently available.
Most dental hygienists are extremely well paid. The average salary of a dental hygienist is close to $70,000 per year, which is far more than what many people earn when they graduate with a bachelor’s degree – no, you can’t expect to earn $100,000 annually with a degree in Medieval poetry. Moreover, dental hygienists who have sufficient experience in their field tend to be paid even more; it just takes a little bit of time.
Finally, working with dentists usually means excellent benefits. Most dental hygienists receive excellent healthcare coverage and many other benefits.
Unlike most jobs, the hours of a dental hygienist are very flexible.
Most dental practices do not open until 9 or 10 a.m. This means the hassle of rushing early in the morning is generally not a problem for dental hygienists. Most dental offices also offer their hygienists the flexibility of working morning or afternoon shifts. This is especially beneficial for working mothers who may not be able to work full-day but might find it convenient to work mornings or evenings, depending on their financial needs and home commitments.
On the other hand, a negative factor is that most dental offices are open on weekends. However, if you like to work on a Saturday or Sunday, then this is an excellent opportunity for people who only want to work weekends.
As a dental hygienist, you are not required to work for a dentist because you can work privately – you have the other option of working in a healthcare institution with dental surgeons.
It is also possible to work part-time with another dental practice and half-time on your own. Dental hygienists have the option to work in community centers, mobile dental clinics, and nursing homes. There are even dental hygienists who offer their services to schools and play a vital role in teeth cleaning and basic dental check-ups.
If you work independently, you can set your own hours and work when you like. In general dental hygienists who are self-employed tend to make much more money than those who are employed by other dental practices.
One of the great things about being a dental hygienist is that every day, the work is different. You will see a variety of dental problems than just cleaning the teeth.
Dental hygienists play a critical role in evaluating gum disease, teaching patients about good oral hygiene habits and even checking for oral cavity cancers. Dental hygienists often assist dental surgeons with complex dental procedures like root canals and implants.
Finally, if you like people, then dental hygiene is the profession for you. This is especially true for dental practices that cater to children as one of the largest patient population that visit dentists are children and teenagers.
The above discussion demonstrates the potential this profession has for interested candidates. If you want to work as a dental hygienist, you will need to obtain a certificate or an associate’s degree from a reputable college. That is why it is a good idea to enroll in a dental hygienist continuing education program – ain’t that the tooth!