Study Finds Dental Hygienists Flourish in Small or Midsized Cities
Dental hygienists looking to make a move should consider Sherman, Texas, as this city near Dallas, ranks as the best for dental hygienists, according to a new study by AdvisorSmith.
Dental hygienists looking to make a move should consider Sherman, Texas, as this city near Dallas, ranks as the best for dental hygienists, according to a new study by AdvisorSmith. After analyzing 346 cities based on salaries, cost of living, and the availability of jobs for dental hygienists, small and midsized cities with populations under 500,000 ranked as the areas where clinicians have the most opportunity.
“Smaller cities have, on average, older populations compared to big cities, and as people keep more of their original teeth than prior generations, the need to maintain and treat teeth is fueling higher demand for dental hygienists,” explains Patrick Chen, MBA, BS, cofounder and president of AdvisorSmith.
Ten of the top 10, and 44 of the top 50 cities on this list have populations under 500,000.
There are several reasons why Sherman ranks as the No. 1 city for dental hygienists, such as an average salary of $84,010, which exceeds the national average by 11%. Added perks include a higher concentration of jobs for dental hygienists (54%) compared with the average American city, and a cost of living 17% below the national average.
For clinicians who prefer cooler climates rather than hot and muggy Texas temps, the midsize city of Medford, Oregon, may be an option, as it sits second on the list with lots to offer. The city in southern Oregon hosts 135% more jobs for dental hygienists than the average city, with an average annual salary of $87,230—16% above the national average salary for hygienists.
Flint, Michigan, ranks third on the list thanks to the “Vehicle City” providing 129% more jobs for dental hygienists on a per-capita basis compared with the US average. The health care sector is now Flint’s largest industry and a good choice for dental hygienists, as the average salary for this field is $63,370. The cost of living in Flint is 18% below the national average.
Other small cities that made the top three lists of three small cities (<150K) for dental hygienists are Grants Pass, Oregon, and Kokomo, Indiana. With Yakima, Washington, coming in third for the top midsize cities (150K–500K) for dental hygienists. Modesto, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Worcester, Massachusetts, are the top large cities (500k+) that offer excellent opportunities for dental hygienists.
As the future of oral health care delivery evolves, the need for dental hygienists and dental therapists is expected to increase. “Expanding access to oral hygiene services will continue to drive demand for preventive dental services, meaning overall access should continue to increase,” says Chen. “With the number of dental hygienist openings projected to exceed the number of graduates of dental hygiene programs, our findings will hopefully assist these clinicians in identifying where their work is most needed.”