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2020 RDH Salary Survey

Dental Connections and the Washington Dental Hygienists’ Association (WDHA) have partnered since 2008 to produce accurate, comprehensive, and current statistics about dental hygienist wages and benefits in dental offices. The answers to this survey are completely anonymous and reflect a large sample set of workers providing the most up to date and accurate statistics available anywhere. Dental Connections and the WDHA have zero influence over the respondent’s answers and do not use this information for profit.

Before reading the results, we want to point out some key observations and historical trends:

• This survey combines ALL types of hygienists: traditional, restorative, part time, full time, experienced, new grads, etc. Restorative RDHs make more than traditional RDHs. Full time workers receive better benefits than part time workers. Take this into account while analyzing the statistics.

• By most measures the greater Seattle area is in its 5th year of an extreme shortage of RDHs. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem due to large cohorts of workers not returning to their jobs yet and current workers seeking hazard pay compensation. This has driven wages up even more dramatically due to basic supply and demand principles.

• Historically, experienced professionals that have spent more time in a single practice are compensated higher for loyalty. This trend is changing because of the shortage. North King County currently has a $54/hour average, but recent job offers in 2019-2020 have been above that average due to the market factors discussed above.

• 18% 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.

Before determining whether an hourly rate is fair, consider all important factors: location, hygiene role performed, experience level, type of practice, and benefits (which can add approximately $5-$15/hour to the compensation package). 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 discuss how much they are making per hour because it seems the most relevant. It may not be as exciting to say “I get 3 weeks of paid vacation 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. Lastly, being treated fairly and being happy at a job is always worth more than a couple dollars an hour.

Download PDF version of the results below. Please contact ryan@dentalconnections.com if you have any questions or comments.

https://www.dentalconnections.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-RDH-Salary-Survey.pdf


Please Participate in the 2020 RDH Salary Survey

Please take the 2020 RDH Salary Survey. We offer this survey annually in conjunction with the WSDHA. Once we gather enough responses results will be available hopefully in 4-6 weeks. Please click the link below. Takes 1-2 minutes 👍💰

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HCJHWPP


2019-2020 RDH Salary & Benefits Survey

This year we surveyed restorative RDHs separately and also separated North and South King County. Unfortunately, we did not get enough responses on the restorative survey to publish statistically significant data. We tried to be more specific in our E. WA communities as well, but again, not enough replies from that side of the state for further detail. Thank you to Pam at the WSDHA for her PR and to Christine Avram and Grace Choi for contributing to the resto survey. If you want a PDF version emailed to you please request it from ryan@dentalconnections.com. We are happy to answer any of your questions.

RESPONDENTS: 473

Full Time Hygienists (3-5 days/wk): 80%
Part Time Hygienists (1-2 days/wk): 20%
Working in General Practice: 96%
Working in Specialty Practice: 4%

SALARY PER HOUR
WA State Average $48.74

North King County $50.49 (Seattle/Bellevue)
South King County $49.15 (Renton to Federal Way/Auburn)
Snohomish County $49.99
Pierce County $48.35
Thurston/Mason County $47.50
Kitsap County $51.15
Skagit/Whatcom County $47.86
Cowlitz/Clark County $42.50
Coastal Counties $49.50
Eastern Washington $41.66

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Overall Average 11.65 years
With Current Position 5.26 years

DUTIES PERFORMED
94% Recall
98% Periodontal Procedures
21% Impressions
97% Digital X-rays
9% X-rays
96% Anesthesia
81% Nitrous Oxide Admin
79% Schedule Appointments
54% Photography
3% Rubber Dam Placement
11% Laser
52% Sealants

BENEFITS PROVIDED
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.

60% Medical Insurance
84% Dental Insurance
6% Life Insurance
64% Retirement (54% include employer contribution)
43% Bonuses
81% Paid Vacation
74% Holidays
66% C/E Paid
49% Uniform Allowance


2018-19 Dental Assistant Salary Survey

DENTAL ASSISTANT SALARY AND BENEFITS SURVEY 2018

RESPONDENTS: 134
Full Time Assistants (3-5 days/wk): 79%
Part Time Assistants (1-2 days/wk): 21%
Working in General Practice: 84%
Working in Specialty Practice: 16%

SALARY PER HOUR
WA State Average $23.45

• King County $24.57
• Snohomish County $24.33
• Pierce County $22.85
• Thurston/Mason County $21.82
• Kitsap County $20.00
• Skagit/Whatcom County No Data
• Cowlitz/Clark County No Data
• Coastal Counties No Data
• Eastern Washington No Data

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Overall Average 11.67 years
With Current Position 3.66 years

SKILL SET
Basic Assistant 40%
Expanded Duties Assistant 44%
Specialty Assistant 16%

BENEFITS PROVIDED

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.

Medical Insurance 61%
Dental Insurance 83%
Life Insurance 9%
Retirement 56%
Bonuses 44%
Paid Vacation 81%
Paid Holidays 79%
Continuing Education 36%
Uniform Allowance 41%

Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliaries were surveyed separately. There were 19 respondents with an average wage of $27.26


2018-19 Hygienist Salary and Benefits Survey

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.

DENTAL HYGIENIST SALARY AND BENEFITS SURVEY 2018

RESPONDENTS: 553

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%

SALARY PER HOUR
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

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Overall Average 12.12 years
With Current Position 5.33 years

DUTIES PERFORMED
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

BENEFITS PROVIDED
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


2017-18 Hygienist Salary and Benefits Survey

Dental Connections and the WDHA 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. We had a record number of respondents this year and want to thank everyone who participated. A special thank you to Michael Broome 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.

• 26% 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.

We raise these issues because you cannot think of yourself as just a dental hygienist. 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.

DENTAL HYGIENIST SALARY AND BENEFITS SURVEY 2017-2018

RESPONDENTS: 610

74% Full Time Hygienists (3-5 days/wk):
26% Part Time Hygienists (1-2 days/wk):
94% Working in General Practice:
6% Working in Specialty Practice:

SALARY PER HOUR
WA State Average $45.84

• King County $47.30
• Pierce County $46.08
• Thurston/Mason County $45.32
• Kitsap County $47.30
• Snohomish County $46.19
• Skagit/Whatcom County $46.04
• Cowlitz/Clark County $39.65
• Coastal Counties $50.93
• Eastern Washington $42.74

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Overall Average 13.92 years
With Current Position 7.29 years

DUTIES PERFORMED
94% Recall/Continuing Care
46% Photography
97% Periodontal Procedures
7% Rubber Dam Placement
18% Restorative Procedures
21% Impressions
4% Temporaries
54% X-rays
89% Digital X-rays
83% Computer in Op
54% Sealants
11% Laser
94% Anesthesia
79% Nitrous Oxide Admin
72% Schedule Appointments
23% Business Office Duties

BENEFITS PROVIDED
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.

55% Medical Insurance
74% Dental Insurance
9% Life Insurance
58% Retirement
43% Bonuses
76% Paid Vacation
71% Holidays
48% Sick or Well Leave
58% C/E Paid
50% Uniform Allowance


2015 Hygienist Salary Survey Results

Hygienist Salary Survey

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.