The job outlook for dental hygienists nationally is continuing to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the jobs for dental hygienists to grow from 174,000 in 2008 to 237,000 by 2018.
The career options are endless for dental hygienists. While it is true most dental hygienists work in private practice treating patients for oral disease, there are many dental hygienists in education, research, sales, marketing, product development, legislature, public advocacy among other career paths. While the job outlook is expected to grow, the uncertain ecnomic times are finding more and more dental hygienists unable to find full time employment in private dental offices. Many graudates are working part time in private practice while pursuing other opportunities their degree can offer. This is the beauty of the dental hygiene degree -- versatility.
Some of these alternate career paths may require an advanced degree.
The population will continue to need the services dental hygienists can provide. With the need for quality care and increased access to care in the country dental hygienists will find themselves in unique opportunites to change the profession and role of the dental hygienist.
It is truly an exciting time to be in the dental hygiene profession!