Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau
of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists rank among the fastest growing
occupations, and job prospects are expected to remain excellent. Employment
of dental hygienists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024,
much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking
oral health and general health will continue to spur the demand for
preventive dental services.
The demand for dental services will increase as the
population ages, cosmetic dental services become increasingly popular, and
access to health insurance continues to grow. As the large baby-boom
population ages and people retain more of their original teeth than
previous generations did, the need to maintain and treat these teeth will
continue to drive demand for dental care.
Cosmetic dental services, such as teeth-whitening
treatments, have become increasingly popular. This trend is expected to
continue as new technologies allow for less invasive, faster procedures.
People with new or expanded dental insurance coverage will
be more likely to visit an oral healthcare provider than in the past. As a
result, the demand for all dental services, including those performed by
hygienists, will increase.
Although the demand for dental services is growing, the
number of new graduates from dental hygiene programs also has increased,
resulting in more competition for jobs. Candidates can expect very strong
competition for most full-time hygienist positions. Job seekers with
previous work experience should have the best job opportunities. In
addition, new dental hygiene-based workforce models are emerging and may
provide additional opportunities for dental hygienists.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor