According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon is home to 3,600 licensed dental hygienists (2013) who are earning a mean annual salary of $79,650 ($38.29/hour), which is above the national mean annual wage for this occupation.
Dental hygienists in Oregon are licensed by the State Board of Dentistry after completing an accredited dental hygienist program and passing the National Board of Dental Hygienists examination. There are six dental hygienist schools in Oregon from which approximately 170 students graduate each year. Their job prospects are excellent. The government predicts that the number of dental hygienist jobs in Oregon will increase 27 percent by 2018.
Dental hygienist salaries in Oregon compare very favorably with national salaries for that occupation. The following list compares national dental hygienist averages with those in Oregon:
Like almost all occupations, the salaries of dental hygienist vary depending on level of education, years of experience, metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan areas, geographic regions, cities and towns. Differences in dental hygienist salaries in four nonmetropolitan regions of Oregon are:
Expanded Role of Dental Hygienists in Oregon
In 2011, Oregon’s Limited Access Permit, which enabled dental hygienists to provide extended services to low-income persons in schools, foster homes, nursing homes, mental health facilities, penal institutions, etc. was replaced by an “Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist” permit which grants holders the right to perform unsupervised services like writing prescriptions, administering local anesthesia or relining dentures. There are additional educational and experience requirements in order to qualify.
The following table includes data provided by the US Department of Labor and illustrates salary differences in various cities in Oregon (2013).