2018-19 Hygienist Salary and Benefits Survey

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Dental Connections and the Washington Dental Hygienists’ Association have partnered since 2008 to produce accurate, comprehensive, and current statistics about dental hygienist wages and benefits in dental offices. Dental Connections has provided salary survey data for over 25 years and this information is critical for all dental professionals and dental practices. Thank you to all of the hygienists that participated. A special thank you to Pamela An for helping us cross promote this survey through the Association’s marketing channels.

Before you read the results, we want to point out some weaknesses this survey has:

• It surveys ALL types of hygienists: traditional, restorative, part time, full time, experienced, new grads, etc. We know restorative RDHs make more than traditional RDHs. We know full time workers receive better benefits than part time workers. In most cases experienced professionals that have spent more time in a single practice are compensated higher for loyalty.

• A large number of respondents are from rural counties and this drags down the overall WA State hourly average.

• 21% of respondents are part time workers and this has a dramatic effect on the benefit statistics. The benefit percentages are lower as a result of the part time workers reporting lesser benefits.

• The King County average is $48.55, but one must take into account a huge demographic area that includes cities like Federal Way, Auburn, etc. The average in South King County is lower and the larger cities of Seattle and Bellevue are higher.

Before determining whether your hourly rate is fair, you have to consider all of the important factors such as the city you live in, the hygiene role you perform, the type of practice you work in, and the benefits you receive (which can add approximately $5-$15/hour to your wage). Similarly, dental offices weigh these factors before making a job offer or negotiating a raise for existing staff.

When we counsel dental professionals about a compensation package the most overlooked portion is benefits. There is a tendency to only focus on the hourly wage and there is a lack of education about how much the employer is spending on benefits. Colleagues like to discuss how much they are making per hour because it seems the most relevant. It may not be as exciting to say “I get one sick day per quarter and a 3% contribution to a 401k”. Our advice to both employees and employers is to make sure they have a full understanding of the total compensation package and shift the focus away from the hourly rate by itself.

If you want more in depth analysis or a conversation about your particular situation, please contact a placement consultant at Dental Connections.



Full Time Hygienists (3-5 days/wk): 79%
Part Time Hygienists (1-2 days/wk): 21%
Traditional Hygienists 93%
Restorative Hygienists 7%
Working in General Practice: 93%
Working in Specialty Practice: 7%

WA State Average $47.09

• King County $48.55
• Snohomish County $47.67
• Pierce County $46.56
• Thurston/Mason County $45.71
• Kitsap County $48.84
• Skagit/Whatcom County $45.73
• Cowlitz/Clark County $39.00
• Coastal Counties $49.64
• Eastern Washington $40.73

Overall Average 12.12 years
With Current Position 5.33 years

89% Recall
49% Photography
95% Periodontal Procedures
6% Rubber Dam Placement
16% Restorative Procedures
23% Impressions
12% X-rays
4% Temporaries
93% Digital X-rays
83% Computer in Op
96% Anesthesia
53% Sealants
78% Nitrous Oxide Admin
75% Schedule Appointments
20% Business Office Duties
9% Laser

Important note: part time and full time respondent results are combined which lowers the percentages of some categories. Part time employees generally have fewer benefits than full time employees.

56% Medical Insurance
84% Dental Insurance
11% Life Insurance
61% Retirement
45% Bonuses
80% Paid Vacation
71% Holidays
66% C/E Paid
47% Uniform Allowance

Dental Connections is a dental employment agency offering temporary and permanent placement services for dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, and business staff. We are more than just a temp agency because all of the dental professionals we represent are screened with a personal interview. Half our business is dedicated to permanent placement. Our service area is all of Western Washington, with most jobs in the following cities: Everett, Lynnwood, Seattle, Bothell, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Renton, Kent, Federal Way, Auburn, Puyallup, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Olympia, and Centralia.