Choosing a career to go to school for can be hard. There are many things to consider before signing up for that first class. If you decide that you want to become a dental hygienist in Utah, you must know exactly what it takes to qualify for a job in that field of practice. A career as a dental hygienist can be very rewarding for the right individual. So if you are considering this move for your career path then keep reading. Below will be all the information you need to know before you get started.
Dental Hygienist Requirements
To become a dental hygienist, you must receive your education through academic programs offered at either a technical school, a university, community college or at a dental school. Along with your education, you must also be licensed in the state you plan to practice. Most degrees will take two years to complete. However, there are opportunities to advance your career as well with further schooling.
Is Any Prior Education Or Training Required?
To enroll in an accredited school of your choice you must have a high school diploma or have completed your GED. Certain schools may also require you to be a certain age before you can enroll. Depending on the school, many programs may show preference to those students who have completed at least one year of college. For baccalaureate degree programs, many school programs will require their students to have at least two complete years of college before they are able to enroll.
Are Dental Hygienists Required To Be Certified?
To become a dental hygienist in any state, you must be certified. Whether you plan to pursue just a certificate in dental hygiene or are going to work towards getting your associate’s degree for dental hygiene, you will be required to pursue a state license to legally practice as a dental hygienist.
Is Continuing Education Necessary?
Continuing education is not necessary to continue your career as a dental hygienist. With just an undergraduate degree, you are able to practice in any state. However, some hygienists eventually like to continue their education with an advanced degree in their field. These degree programs are typically reserved for those types of students who have plans to pursue academic careers in the field or plan to practice in a public health or school program.
Dental Hygienist Salary in Utah
According to the statistic on labor and earnings, dental hygienists earned a median of just over $70,000 in May of 2012. Half of those earners earned more than this amount while the other half earned less. The low ten percent of earners earned around $46,000 and the top ten percent earned around $96,000.
Dental Hygienist Job Duties
As a dental hygienist, you will be tasked to take care of your patient’s teeth. Some of the job duties involved with being a dental hygienist include removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth, taking x-rays and also applying fluoride treatments. If you decide to further your education and get an associate’s degree for dental hygiene, then you will also learn further types of care that will include things like periodontal and preventative dental care practices. Some of those duties might include sealing cavities, conducting oral x-rays, applying teeth fluorides and also teaching the patients how to better care for their teeth.