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Here's How Much Dental Hygienists Make in Every US State

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Healthcare is expected to be among the fastest growing sectors in the United States in the coming years. As the baby boom generation continues to age, rising demand for healthcare services will likely translate to greater job security for industry workers. Still, job security may be little consolation for those in some of the lowest paying healthcare occupations.

While most dentists, physicians, and surgeons make well over $150,000 a year, these jobs have a high educational barrier to entry, requiring a doctoral or professional degree and years of residency training. And while there are many healthcare jobs with fewer educational prerequisites, they tend to pay far less, often between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. (Here is a look at the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree.)

But those looking to start a well-paying career in healthcare without spending over a decade in school have options, and one of them is in dental hygiene. Dental hygienists typically work with patients in dental offices cleaning teeth, taking and developing x-rays, applying sealants, and assessing overall oral health.

Most dental hygienists need a three year associate’s degree, and are not required to have a bachelor’s degree. Still, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most dental hygienists in the U.S. earn over $81,000 a year, nearly double the median annual wage across all occupations of $46,310. But compensation for dental hygienists varies across the country, and in some states, the occupation pays far more than in others.

Using data from the BLS’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, 24/7 Wall St. identified how much dental hygienists make in each state. States were ranked on the median annual wage for all dental hygienists in 2022. Data on cost of living is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is based on regional price parity in 2021.

Across all 50 states, the median annual wage for dental hygienists ranges from about $55,000 to over $100,000. Many of the highest paying states also have a higher than average cost of living. Still, living expenses in many of these places are not high enough to offset the premiums paid for dental hygiene services. (Here is a look at the most expensive city to live in every state.)

50. Alabama

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $55,410
  • Cost of living: 11.9% less than U.S. (2nd lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $61,982 (the lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (13th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,640 (22nd highest)

49. Mississippi

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $61,210
  • Cost of living: 13.4% less than U.S. (the lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $69,412 (3rd lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.4 (13th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,540 (16th lowest)

48. West Virginia

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $61,970
  • Cost of living: 9.2% less than U.S. (9th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $67,694 (2nd lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (18th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,150 (12th lowest)

47. Michigan

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $72,660
  • Cost of living: 5.7% less than U.S. (24th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $76,836 (6th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (16th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 7,400 (8th highest)

46. Kentucky

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $72,930
  • Cost of living: 10.9% less than U.S. (3rd lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $80,862 (16th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (7th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 2,400 (22nd lowest)

45. South Carolina

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $74,970
  • Cost of living: 6.3% less than U.S. (22nd lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $79,698 (11th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (20th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,160 (25th lowest)

44. Utah

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $75,540
  • Cost of living: 5.4% less than U.S. (25th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $79,625 (10th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.0 (7th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,210 (24th highest)

43. South Dakota

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $75,810
  • Cost of living: 9.9% less than U.S. (7th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $83,280 (19th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (12th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 570 (3rd lowest)

42. Tennessee

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $76,340
  • Cost of living: 9.1% less than U.S. (10th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $83,322 (20th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (22nd lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 4,600 (19th highest)

41. Ohio

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $76,350
  • Cost of living: 7.5% less than U.S. (19th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $82,108 (17th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (24th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 8,320 (7th highest)

40. Pennsylvania

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $76,770
  • Cost of living: 3.6% less than U.S. (23rd highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $79,556 (9th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (23rd lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 8,640 (5th highest)

39. Wisconsin

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,170
  • Cost of living: 6.7% less than U.S. (21st lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $82,304 (18th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (19th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 4,760 (17th highest)

38. Missouri

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,330
  • Cost of living: 8.0% less than U.S. (18th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $83,499 (21st lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.2 (4th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,400 (23rd highest)

37. Georgia

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,420
  • Cost of living: 4.2% less than U.S. (24th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $80,684 (14th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (6th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 5,800 (12th highest)

36. Arkansas

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,530
  • Cost of living: 10.6% less than U.S. (4th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $85,713 (24th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (10th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,590 (17th lowest)

35. Kansas

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,610
  • Cost of living: 8.8% less than U.S. (12th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $84,473 (25th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (8th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,750 (18th lowest)

34. Florida

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,660
  • Cost of living: 1.4% more than U.S. (15th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $76,549 (5th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.4 (16th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 13,090 (3rd highest)

33. Iowa

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,850
  • Cost of living: 10.4% less than U.S. (5th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $85,971 (21st highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (25th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 2,340 (21st lowest)

32. Maine

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $77,950
  • Cost of living: 2.8% less than U.S. (21st highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $80,129 (12th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (15th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,090 (10th lowest)

31. Indiana

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $78,630
  • Cost of living: 7.3% less than U.S. (20th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $84,342 (23rd lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (20th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 5,210 (14th highest)

30. Nebraska

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $78,760
  • Cost of living: 8.2% less than U.S. (16th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $85,257 (25th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (11th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,260 (14th lowest)

29. North Carolina

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $79,200
  • Cost of living: 6.2% less than U.S. (23rd lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $84,106 (22nd lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.4 (15th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 6,560 (10th highest)

28. North Dakota

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $79,350
  • Cost of living: 8.9% less than U.S. (11th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $86,410 (19th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.2 (2nd highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 890 (7th lowest)

27. Illinois

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $79,560
  • Cost of living: 1.4% more than U.S. (16th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $78,437 (8th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.4 (17th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 8,430 (6th highest)

26. Texas

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $79,660
  • Cost of living: 1.5% less than U.S. (18th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $80,853 (15th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 0.9 (the lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 11,180 (4th highest)

25. Rhode Island

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $79,860
  • Cost of living: 2.1% more than U.S. (14th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $78,197 (7th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (14th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 870 (6th lowest)

24. Louisiana

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $80,030
  • Cost of living: 8.7% less than U.S. (13th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $87,012 (16th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.1 (3rd lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 2,020 (20th lowest)

23. Wyoming

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $80,840
  • Cost of living: 8.6% less than U.S. (14th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $87,778 (15th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.0 (5th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 540 (the lowest)

22. Idaho

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $82,830
  • Cost of living: 8.2% less than U.S. (17th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $89,642 (14th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.2 (the highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,780 (19th lowest)

21. Minnesota

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $83,140
  • Cost of living: 1.6% less than U.S. (19th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $84,451 (24th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (17th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 4,800 (16th highest)

20. Montana

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $83,180
  • Cost of living: 8.4% less than U.S. (15th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $90,195 (13th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.0 (6th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 970 (8th lowest)

19. Delaware

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $84,070
  • Cost of living: 2.3% less than U.S. (20th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $86,023 (20th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.6 (22nd highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 730 (5th lowest)

18. Vermont

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $85,320
  • Cost of living: 1.3% less than U.S. (17th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $86,463 (18th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.1 (4th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 610 (4th lowest)

17. Hawaii

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $87,080
  • Cost of living: 13.2% more than U.S. (the highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $75,562 (4th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.9 (9th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,110 (11th lowest)

16. New Hampshire

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $88,020
  • Cost of living: 2.5% more than U.S. (12th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $85,811 (23rd highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (12th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,200 (13th lowest)

15. New York

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $89,030
  • Cost of living: 9.5% more than U.S. (3rd highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $80,569 (13th lowest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (19th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 13,360 (2nd highest)

14. Arizona

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $91,280
  • Cost of living: 3.3% less than U.S. (22nd highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $94,273 (9th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.6 (23rd highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 4,720 (18th highest)

13. Oklahoma

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $91,500
  • Cost of living: 9.7% less than U.S. (8th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $100,404 (3rd highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (25th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 2,480 (23rd lowest)

12. Massachusetts

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $91,970
  • Cost of living: 6.6% more than U.S. (6th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $85,941 (22nd highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.3 (9th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 4,580 (20th highest)

11. New Mexico

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $93,150
  • Cost of living: 10.1% less than U.S. (6th lowest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $102,552 (the highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.2 (5th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,000 (9th lowest)

10. Connecticut

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $93,480
  • Cost of living: 2.6% more than U.S. (11th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $91,047 (12th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.9 (8th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,150 (24th lowest)

9. Virginia

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $93,600
  • Cost of living: 2.3% more than U.S. (13th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $91,468 (11th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.4 (14th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 5,340 (13th highest)

8. New Jersey

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $95,420
  • Cost of living: 9.1% more than U.S. (4th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $86,738 (17th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (24th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 6,250 (11th highest)

7. Nevada

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $96,100
  • Cost of living: 4.5% less than U.S. (25th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $100,383 (4th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 0.9 (2nd lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 1,270 (15th lowest)

6. Colorado

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $96,560
  • Cost of living: 3.0% more than U.S. (10th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $93,655 (10th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (10th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 5,100 (15th highest)

5. Oregon

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $98,220
  • Cost of living: 3.0% more than U.S. (9th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $95,242 (6th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.7 (21st highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,170 (25th highest)

4. Maryland

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $100,790
  • Cost of living: 6.2% more than U.S. (7th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $94,518 (8th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (18th lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 3,830 (21st highest)

3. Alaska

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $106,930
  • Cost of living: 4.4% more than U.S. (8th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $102,183 (2nd highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.8 (11th highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 560 (2nd lowest)

2. California

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $107,960
  • Cost of living: 11.8% more than U.S. (2nd highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $95,224 (7th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 1.5 (22nd lowest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 25,980 (the highest)

1. Washington

  • Median annual salary for occupation: $109,230
  • Cost of living: 8.9% more than U.S. (5th highest)
  • Cost-of-living-adjusted median annual salary for occupation: $99,525 (5th highest)
  • Employment in occupation per 1,000 jobs: 2.1 (3rd highest)
  • Total employment in occupation: 7,140 (9th highest)

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