Career Resources for Dental Hygiene Majors:

Dental Hygiene Graduate Programs:

  • Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (M.S.D.H.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)

Career options:

  • Master’s Degree:
    • Dental Hygienist
    • Public Health Advocate/Educator
    • Dental Hygiene Management
  • DDS:
    • Dentist
  • PhD:
    • Researcher
    • Professor

Salary and job outlook information

Position Degree 2014 Median Pay Percent Growth 2012-2022
Dental Hygienist Associate’s $71,520 per year 19%
Dental Assistants Post-Secondary non-degree certificate $35,390 per year 18%
Dentists Doctoral $154,640 per year 18%

  • Some questions from the ADHA on finding the right program for you
    • Is there a waiting list to get into the program?
    • How long does it take the average student in your program to acquire a masters degree in dental hygiene?
    • What were your attrition rates in the last several years?
    • In the last several years, what percentage of your graduates passed the national board exam on the first attempt?
    • In the last several years, what percentage of your graduates passed the clinical licensing exam on the first try?
    • In the last several years, what percentage of your students found full-time employment as a clinical hygienist within several months of graduation?
    • Do you have any graduates of note working in the field?
    • Tell me about your faculty. What are their areas of specialty (if any)?
    • What makes your dental hygiene program unique?
    • What resources are available to assist me in being successful?
  • Here’s information from the ADHA on Graduate Scholarships
  • Try to gain at least one year of work or internship experience before applying to graduate school to build your experience
  • Keep your undergraduate GPA high
  • Have at least 3 letters of recommendation prepared from professors and/or work colleagues/supervisors when applying to graduate schools

  • Situational Questions from A Smart Hiring: A Guide for The Dental Office
    • If you were having trouble relating to a patient what would you do?
    • Imagine I’m an adult with poor home care. How would you motivate me to take better care of my oral health?
  • Interviewing questions from the ADHA:
    • Experience:
      1. What were your strengths/weaknesses at your last job?
      2. Name 2 or 3 things that you wished you would have done better at your last job?
      3. What qualifications do you have that will help you be successful in this position?
      4. In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
      5. What outside activities are you involved in? To which professional associations do you belong to?
    • Behavioral:
      1. How do you work under pressure?
      2. Tell me about a situation when you were under pressure. How did you react? Would you do anything differently? What have you learned from your mistakes?
      3. How would you deal with administration decisions/philosophies with which you do not agree?
      4. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
      5. What 2 or 3 accomplishments are most proud of in your life so far? Why?
    • Openers
      1. What do you know about our office/organization?
      2. Why are you interested in this position?
      3. What qualifies you for this position?
      4. Tell me about yourself. Interests/Hobbies
    • From Pittsburgh State University:
      • Why did you choose to be a dental hygienist?
      • When did you decide this?
      • How do you feel about working with crying children? Older people? Handicapped people?
      • Please describe a typical day at work.
      • What do you like most about your job?
      • Is there anything about your profession that you don’t like?
      • How much training have you had, and do you feel it has been good training?
      • Would you work full time? Part time? Flexible hours?
      • What are your five year goals? Ten year goals?
      • What aspects of your last job did you like best? What did you like least?
      • Just coming out of school, how do you feel you would fit into our office?
      • What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a dentist/dental Hygienist?

  • Connect and network with local dentists offices
  • Explore internship opportunities with government agencies and dentist’s offices outside of UNH clinical experience