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2023 Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Degree Guide

A Recent Jump in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Degrees

#98 Most Popular Major
8.8k Degrees Awarded
23.8% Increase in Graduates

Dental Hygiene/Hygienist was the 98th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 8,807 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 23.8% increase in dental hygiene degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 6,708.

This year's Best Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Schools ranking compares 267 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom dental hygiene rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
2023 Overall Best Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Colleges >

Best Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
Bachelor's Degrees in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist
Master's Degrees in Dental Hygiene/Hygienist


Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Degree Requirements

A major in dental hygiene prepares you for careers in which talking to others to convey information effectively is crucial. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times and using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Getting Accepted Into a Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most dental hygiene degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific dental hygiene careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Degree Types

Dental Hygiene degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in dental hygiene/hygienist to the highest dental hygiene degree, a . The type of dental hygiene degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to dental hygiene, with approximately 41.6% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to dental hygiene tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 53.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 18.2%
Master’s Degree 12.6%
Doctoral Degree 8.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.7%

Most workers in dental hygiene have at least a bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in dental hygiene/hygienist careers have.


This of course varies depending on which dental hygiene career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Dental Hygiene Majors

Average Number of Jobs
98.9k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
23% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

High Growth Projected for Dental Hygiene Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your dental hygiene degree? Dental Hygiene/Hygienist careers are expected to grow 23.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to dental hygiene/hygienist.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Dental Hygienists 248,900 19.7%

How Much Money Do Dental Hygiene Grads Make?

As you might expect, salaries for dental hygiene graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

High Paying Careers for Dental Hygiene Majors

Salaries for dental hygiene/hygienist graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers dental hygiene grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Dental Hygienists $75,500

Getting Your Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Degree

With over 425 different dental hygiene degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased dental hygiene school rankings to help you with this.

One of 3 majors within the Dental Support Services area of study, Dental Hygiene/Hygienist has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Dental Assisting/Assistant 17,223
Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician 287
Other Dental Services & Allied Professions 82

View All Dental Hygiene Related Majors >


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