If you are a dental hygienist seeking a job, or even someone looking into the field of dental hygiene, you know that education is highly valued. It is a requirement in order to begin working as a dental hygienist and so that you can become state certified, but even more so, it’s imperative if you want to advance in the industry and command a higher salary.
Even if you have already started out in a dental hygiene career, it’s highly recommended that you seek your dental hygienist degree.
Why a dental hygienist degree instead of a certificate?
A dental hygienist degree stands up quite a bit stronger when you are applying for a job. You may not think that there would be much of a difference between a certificate and an associate’s degree – especially when both programs can take the same amount of time – but a prospective employer will see an associate’s degree in a much different light than they will see a certificate. There is also room for continuing up the educational ladder later on in your career, which will only serve to expand your opportunities.
How do I get my dental hygienist degree?
There are a variety of ways to go about getting your dental hygienist degree, with the associate’s degree being the first, and fastest, step. An associate dental hygienist degree will only take you two years and can be completed at a community college, which may be less expensive than a state university and may offer more class flexibility if you are already working.
If you’d like to go straight for your bachelor’s degree, this will take you four years, but is well worth it – as all degrees are. The dental hygienist degree at a four year institution will see you undergoing general education classes in addition to your core classes, but should offer more clinical time and may include the cost of state licensing in with the costs of the tuition.
What do I do with my dental hygienist degree?
You can actually do quite a number of things with your degree in dental hygiene. Securing a better job and commanding higher salary is one of the first things. You have put in the time and are well educated, and your pay should reflect that. You can also continue moving forward with your education and work up to a master’s degree in dental hygiene, which will offer you the opportunity to teach other students of dental hygiene, or even work in a research capacity for a variety of institutions.
There are a wide variety of opportunities that open up to you once you achieve your dental hygienist degree. In addition to your state certification, your dental hygienist degree will represent you on paper to a prospective employer long before you ever set foot in the office for an interview. The better your education, the better chance you will have at getting the job you are seeking, which is one of the biggest reasons that you should take action and enroll in a school to obtain your dental hygiene degree.