Colorado Calling for Tomorrow’s Dental Hygienists

Robust growth is epxected in the market for dental hygienists in the coming years. [Seguir leyendo en español]

Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment predicts that employment for dental hygienists in Colorado will grow by 28.6% for the decade to 2025. In 2015 there were 4,737 persons employed as hygienists. Growth in Colorado outstrips growth nationally and is faster than for other professions in this state. (Visit this page for information on dental assistant schools in Colorado, requirements, salaries and more).

Requirements

Dental hygienists are licensed by Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations. Professionals must complete an accredited program in dental hygiene of at least two years in length, and pass the national licensing exams and a clinical exam with one of the regional testing services or a state exam.

There are separate requirements for those wishing to administer local anesthesia. These include holding a current Basic Life Support (BLS) certifcation for health care providers, and complete training at a CODA-accredited school which includes 12 hours of didactic training in Anatomy, Pharmacology, Techniques, Physiology and Medical Emergencies, and 12 hours of clinical training that includes the administration of a minimum of 6 infiltration and 6 block injections.

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Dental Hygienist Salaries in Colorado

In 2016, the average salary for Dental Hygienists in Colorado, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $80,150, or $38.54 per hour. There are currently around 4,580 dental hygienist jobs in Colorado and over 60% of these jobs are in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area, and 25% are in the Colorado Springs area. Dental hygienist salaries in Denver are higher than the state average.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Boulder, CO370$39.12$81,360
Colorado Springs, CO350$36.50$75,920
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO2,760$39.84$82,870
Fort Collins, CO310$38.75$80,600
Grand Junction, CO70$29.88$62,160
Greeley, CO210$37.51$78,010
Pueblo, CO140$34.80$72,370

Well-known Schools

There are four dental hygienist schools in Colorado, three of which are public community colleges offering CODA-accredited programs. The remaining school is a private, for-profit institution. For student reviews of these schools, try visiting CollegeTimes.co or StudentsReview.com.

The Community College of Denver (CCD) offers both Associate (AAS) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees in Dental Hygiene at its Lowry Campus. Prerequisites for the AAS degree program include a minimum GPA of 2.5 in general education courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in science education courses. The Bachelor program is a RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) to BAS pathway. An AA, AAS, or Certificate in Dental Hygiene from a CODA-accredited DH program from which CCD will accept transfer credits is required for admission to the BAS program. BAS students can choose from one of two educational pathways: public health or education.

Colorado Northwestern Community College is located in Rangely, on the State’s border with Utah. It offers a five-semester accredited program in dental hygiene, leading to an Associate of Applied Science Degree. The program prerequisites are a minimum GPA of 2.8 and grades of “C” or better on all prerequisite courses and general education courses. CNCC also has a Pre-Dental Hygiene program that offers three routes to guaranteed admission into the Dental Hygiene program.

Pueblo Community College offers a RDH to BASDH program. Its Bachelor in Science Degree is aimed at students who are already licensed Dental Hygienists. The is to prepare them for expanded career opportunities that may include education, public health, program administration, or research.

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Western Colorado nonmetropolitan area
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
Pueblo, CO

Western Colorado nonmetropolitan area

Colorado Northwestern Community College

500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely, Colorado 81648-3598
(970) 675-2261
http://www.cncc.edu/dental-hygiene/

The Associate’s program at Colorado Northwestern Community College is taught at their Rangely campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. The majority of the school’s 1,158 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $3,224 per year. The fees for students from outside Colorado are $5,592.

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Community College of Denver

1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado 80204-2026
(303) 556-2600
http://www.ccd.edu/ccd.nsf/html/WEBB87JNJ5-time+commitment

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Denver campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. This private, not-for-profit college has about 11,901 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $3,187 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $12,086.

Concorde Career College-Aurora

111 N. Havana Street, Aurora, Colorado 80010-4314
(303) 861-1151
http://www.concorde.edu/program/dental-hygiene

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Aurora campus. The majority of the school’s 764 students are on 2-year programs. The dental hygiene program has annual tuition fees of $15,088 and material costs of $1,455. The average completion time for the program is 8 months.

Pueblo, CO

Pueblo Community College

900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado 81004-1499
(719) 549-3200
http://www.pueblocc.edu/Academics/AreasStudy/HealthProfessions/DentalHygiene/

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Pueblo campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This private, not-for-profit college has about 7,432 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $3,488 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $12,334.

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