Occupation Summary

Dental Hygienists

O*NET 29-1292.00


Administer oral hygiene care to patients. Assess patient oral hygiene problems or needs and maintain health records. Advise patients on oral health maintenance and disease prevention. May provide advanced care such as providing fluoride treatment or administering topical anesthesia.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 31.73%.
Education Level:
Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Public Service, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM)

  1. Clean calcareous deposits, accretions, and stains from teeth and beneath margins of gums, using dental instruments.
  2. Feel and visually examine gums for sores and signs of disease.
  3. Chart conditions of decay and disease for diagnosis and treatment by dentist.
  4. Feel lymph nodes under patient's chin to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate presence of oral cancer.
  5. Apply fluorides or other cavity preventing agents to arrest dental decay.
  6. Examine gums, using probes, to locate periodontal recessed gums and signs of gum disease.
  7. Expose and develop x-ray film.
  8. Remove excess cement from coronal surfaces of teeth.
  9. Make impressions for study casts.
  10. Administer local anesthetic agents.
  11. Conduct dental health clinics for community groups to augment services of dentist.
  12. Remove sutures and dressings.
  13. Place and remove rubber dams, matrices, and temporary restorations.
  14. Record and review patient medical histories.
  15. Provide clinical services or health education to improve and maintain the oral health of patients or the general public.
  16. Maintain dental equipment and sharpen and sterilize dental instruments.
  17. Maintain patient recall system.
  18. Attend continuing education courses to maintain or update skills.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Dental Hygienists employed Annual Growth Rate
Offices of dentists 94.1 1.08

Labor Market Information

2021 Statewide average hourly wage $36.52
2021 National average hourly wage $39.12
2020 National employment 206,100
2020 Texas employment 13,215
Texas projected employment by 2030 17,408
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2030 1,352

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Active Listening
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
    -- Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
    -- Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
    -- Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
    -- Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
    -- Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Other Activities

  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

No certifications found.


Attachments or replacement parts for dental instruments: Rotating caps;

Dental amalgamators: Mechanical mixers;

Dental cutting or separating discs: Angle formers;

Dental dam supplies: Rubber dams;

Dental examination chairs: Dental chairs;

Dental film processors: Dental x ray development equipment;

Dental hygiene instruments: Electronic calculus detectors;

Dental impression trays: Impression trays;

Dental instrument sharpening accessories: Instrument sharpening devices;

Dental laboratory air abrasion units: Air abrasion equipment;

Dental lasers: Dental lasers; Caries detection aids; Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nd:YAG dental lasers;

Dental material pluggers or tips: Amalgam carriers;

Dental matrices or sets: Matrices/matrix retainers;

Dental operatory retraction cords: Retraction cords;

Dental probes or explorers: Calculus explorers; Caries explorers; Nabers furcation probes; Periodontal probes;

Dental pulp or vitality testers: Pulp testers;

Dental radiology films: Periapical films;

Dental saliva ejectors or oral suction devices: Saliva ejectors; Suctioning equipment;

Dental scalers: Ultrasonic scalers; Solid handle scalars; Cavitron equipment; Dental curettes; Autoscalars; Hand scalers; Hollow handle scalars;

Dental syringes or needles or syringes with needles: Dental needles; Aspirating syringes;

Dental tongs: Cotton pliers;

Dental x ray units: Dental x ray machines; Digital dental x ray units; Panoramic dental x ray units; Portable dental x ray units;

Dental x-ray bite blocks or wings or tabs: Bite wings;

Digital cameras: Intraoral dental cameras; Digital cameras;

Electronic blood pressure units: Electronic blood pressure units;

Medical acoustic stethoscopes: Mechanical stethoscopes;

Medical radiation films or badges: Film badges;

Medical radiological shielding aprons or masks or drapes: Lead aprons;

Mercury blood pressure units: Manual blood pressure cuffs; Mercury blood pressure units;

Microscope slides: Microscope slides;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Oxygen therapy delivery system products: Nitrous oxide administration equipment; Oxygen administration equipment;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Scanners: Computer scanners;

Steam autoclaves or sterilizers: Autoclaves;

Teeth cleaning devices: Air-driven dental polishers; Air/water syringes; Dental polishers; Motor-driven dental polishers;

Ultrasonic cleaning equipment: Ultrasonic sterilization units;


Accounting software: Dental billing software;

Calendar and scheduling software: Scheduling software;

Electronic mail software: Email software;

Internet browser software: Web browser software;

Inventory management software: Inventory management software;

Medical software: Henry Schein Dentrix; Dental charting software; Dental clinical records software; Dental digital radiology software; Dental imaging software; Dental intra-oral imaging software; Dental office management software; Patterson Dental Supply Patterson EagleSoft; Voice-activated perio charting software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Word processing software;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Dental Hygienists include:
  • 29-1141.01 Acute Care Nurses
  • 31-9091.00 Dental Assistants
  • 29-2061.00 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • 31-9092.00 Medical Assistants
  • 29-2057.00 Ophthalmic Medical Technicians
  • 29-1141.00 Registered Nurses
  • 29-1126.00 Respiratory Therapists
  • 29-9093.00 Surgical Assistants
  • 29-2055.00 Surgical Technologists
  • 29-2056.00 Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Sources of Additional Information
  • For information about educational requirements and available accredited programs for dental hygienists, visit: American Dental Hygienists’ Association
  • For information about accredited programs and educational requirements, visit: Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association
  • The State Board of Dental Examiners in each state can provide information on licensing requirements.
  • CareerOneStop

  • For a career video on dental hygienists, visit: Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Hygienists

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.