Become a Dental Hygienist in Florida

The US’s fourth largest state offers fantastic opportunities for dental hygienists in the coming years. [Seguir leyendo en español]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in the eight years to 2023, employment in dental hygienist jobs in Florida will grow by as much as 22.9%. This means that there should be an average of almost 600 job openings per year. (You can also look for Dental Assistant schools in Florida here).

Requirements

Dental Hygienists must be at least 18 years old and complete a series of educational requirements.

Firstly, they must be either graduates of an ADA- or US Department of Education-approved dental hygiene program, or graduates of an unaccredited program but have completed 4 years of postsecondary dental education and received a dental school diploma which is comparable to a DDS or DMD.

Secondly, they must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, or, if not graduates of an accredited dental school, the National Board Dental Exam. They must also pass the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) Dental Hygiene Exam.

You will also be required to provide proof of training in CPR at the basic support level, including one- and two-rescuer CPR for adults, children and infants, use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and the use of ambu-bags. Get more information on Dental Hygienist careers here.

Popular Programs

Dental Hygienist Salaries by Area

Dental Hygienists in the state of Florida are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to have earned an average annual salary of $62,990 in 2016, which is equivalent to $30.28 per hour.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL330$35.01$72,810
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL200$30.74$63,930
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL270$30.09$62,590
Gainesville, FL230$29.10$60,530
Homosassa Springs, FL**$27.06$56,280
Jacksonville, FL1,020$29.27$60,880
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL200$32.96$68,560
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL3,260$27.95$58,140
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL280$33.52$69,710
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL480$30.73$63,930
Ocala, FL160$29.07$60,460
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL1,280$32.44$67,470
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL290$32.78$68,170
Panama City, FL160$29.76$61,900
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL290$27.93$58,100
Port St. Lucie, FL200$31.40$65,300
Punta Gorda, FL110$31.97$66,510
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL**$30.14$62,690
Sebring, FL50$29.90$62,180
Tallahassee, FL150$26.20$54,500
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL1,640$32.54$67,680
The Villages, FL70$31.22$64,940

Well-known Schools

According to the US Department of Education, 19 colleges currently offer Dental Hygiene programs. (Stanford-Brown are in the process of closing their centers). Of these, 15 are public state, community or technical colleges. The average cost of studying dental hygiene at one of these public institutions is around $6,500 per year, according to the DoE’s Net Price calculations. You can find reviews of all colleges at sites such as CollegeTimes.co and SchoolsReview.com.

North Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers an ADA, CODA-accredited AS program in Dental Hygiene lasting two years. The program includes dental and basic science courses and your high school preparation should therefore include biology and chemistry. You are required to take a Health Occupations Test (HOT) and hold a valid CPR certificate. Prerequisite courses (requiring a minimum grade “C”) include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Principles of Basic Chemistry, College Algebra, and Microbiology.

Tallahassee Community College offers an AS degree program. Students can complete the program on either a full-time or a part-time basis, but there are mandatory minimum credit hour requirements. Applicants must complete the program’s required prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 2.2 and a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5.

Central Florida

Hillsborough Community College’s Department of Health Sciences offers a AS in Dental Hygiene program. The curriculum includes five consecutive semesters and requires a commitment of 35-40 hours weekly. Prerequisite courses include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry for Health Sciences, English Composition, College Algebra, and Microbiology and Human Disease.

Valencia College offers a six-semester AS degree program in Dental Hygiene in Orlando. Graduates of the Dental Assisting program at OTEC – Orlando Tech may be awarded credit in specific courses in this program after completing one term in the Dental Hygiene Program at Valencia. Prerequisite courses for the DH program, to be passed with a minimum grade “C”, include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology and Freshman Composition. You must also have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.5.

South Florida

Broward College in Fort Lauderdale offers a “1 +1” program. Students are awarded an Applied Technical Diploma (ATD) in Dental Assisting after 12 months and after a further 12 months can obtain an Associate in Science degree in Dental Hygiene.

Florida SouthWestern State College – Lee Campus in Fort Myers offers an CODA-Accredited AS degree program. Applicants are required to complete prerequisite courses in Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology to a minimum grade “C” level. The program also provides the state-approved Dental Hygiene Local Anesthesia Course for Registered Dental Hygienists who hold a current Florida license.

The University of South Florida (USF) does not currently offer a Dental Hygiene program.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Broward College

111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
(954) 201-7400
http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/dental/Pages/default.aspx

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Fort Lauderdale campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. This private, not-for-profit college has around 42,309 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,542 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $8,712.

Jacksonville, FL

Florida State College at Jacksonville

501 W State St, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 359-5433
https://catalog.fscj.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=32&poid=5157&returnto=4275

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Jacksonville campus. This private, not-for-profit college has around 30,053 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,830 per year. Tuition for students from outside the state of Florida is $9,944.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Hillsborough Community College

39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, Florida 33606-3584
(813) 253-7000
https://www.hccfl.edu/departments/health-science/dental-hygiene.aspx

The Associate’s program at Hillsborough Community College is taught at their Tampa campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 27,754 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,506 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $9,111.

Port St. Lucie, FL

Indian River State College

3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596
(772) 462-4772
https://www.irsc.edu/programs/dental-hygiene.html

The Associate’s program at Indian River State College is offered at their campus in Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. The college has approximately 17,816 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $2,764 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $10,201.

Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

Pensacola State College

1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, Florida 32504-8998
(850) 484-1000
http://www.pensacolastate.edu/program_page.asp?DeptID=6744&ProgID=1267

The Associate’s program at Pensacola State College is offered at their campus in the city of Pensacola. The majority of the school’s 11,862 students are on 4-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $2,704 per year, while fees for out-of-state students are $10,875.

Sebring, FL

South Florida State College

600 W College Dr, Avon Park, Florida 33825-9356
(863) 453-6661
http://www.southflorida.edu/current-students/degrees-programs/academics/health-sciences/dental/dental-hygiene-as

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Avon Park campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. The majority of the school’s 2,800 students are on 4-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $3,175 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $11,869.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College

6021 142nd Ave N, Clearwater, Florida 33760-2822
(727) 341-4772
https://www.spcollege.edu/future-students/degrees-training/health-sciences-and-veterinary-nursing/dental-hygiene/dental-hygiene-as-degree

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Clearwater campus. The college has about 32,612 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. In-state tuition is approximately $3,232 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $11,477.

St Petersburg College

6021 142nd Ave N, Clearwater, Florida 33760-2822
(727) 341-4772
https://go.spcollege.edu/dental-BAS/

The Bachelor program at St Petersburg College is taught at their Clearwater campus. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 32,612 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. In-state tuition fees are approximately $3,232 per year. Tuition for students from other states is $11,477.

Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee Community College

444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, Florida 32304-2895
(850) 201-6200
https://www.tcc.fl.edu/academics/programs/2101/

The Associate’s program at Tallahassee Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Tallahassee. This program of study is ADA accredited. Most of the school’s 14,237 students are on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,024 per year. Fees for students from other states are $8,051.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Valencia College

190 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801
(407) 299-2187
https://valenciacollege.edu/academics/programs/health-sciences/dental-hygiene/

The Associate’s program at Valencia College is offered at their campus in the city of Orlando. The majority of the school’s 42,915 students are on 4-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,378 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $9,005.

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