Are you a dental hygienist looking to take your career to the next level? Earning an associate degree through an accredited dental hygiene program is the first step. But if you're looking for advanced career opportunities, you may want to consider earning a bachelor's or master's degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment in dental hygiene will grow faster than the national average for all jobs. Dental hygiene is a unique field that often pays well above other dental or health-related professions for entry-level positions.
If you want to go beyond clinical practice, you may need to obtain licenses, such as local anesthesia and public health licenses, or obtain advanced degrees. The American Association of Dental Hygienists (ADHA) reports that dental hygienists can work in corporate settings, community health centers, and healthcare organizations. Dental hygienists can also explore opportunities in the pharmaceutical and medical device markets. Colgate offers continuing education and scholarship opportunities to dental health professionals.
You can also look into becoming a university professor, where you'll be expected to stay informed about industry developments and help adjust the curriculum accordingly. To become a dental hygienist, you'll need to start with an associate degree or bachelor's degree program that includes in-person and clinical instruction. If you love your profession, you can change the lives of your patients and safeguard their long-term health. Before making any decisions about advancing your career, consider your finances, your passion for your work, and your job safety.