Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Indiana

Dental Hygienists are highly trained professionals who are paid well to perform tasks such as teeth cleaning, x-rays, preventative tooth care and advising patients on oral and dental care. The dental hygiene career is on the rise, and with a national median annual income of $77,090 and a projected 6 percent rise in employment, Indiana health students may want to consider entering the career of dental hygiene. After two years of training and passing a few challenging tests, dental hygienists in Indiana can be on their way to becoming licensed by the state and practicing on a professional basis.

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Find information dental assistant schools in Indiana here.

Requirements for Dental Hygienist in Indiana

Generally, a dental hygienist needs to study two years in a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), then pursue licensure by taking multiple exams. Because of the college requirement, those who wish to become dental hygienists should first have their high school diploma or GED. Because many academic programs have course prerequisites, applicants with strong biology, health and science courses on their transcripts will have an advantage.

Dental Hygiene Programs in Indiana

There are excellent CODA-accredited dental hygiene programs all over Indiana, including:

  • Ivy Tech Community College. This school’s dental hygiene program is accredited by the ADA – CODA, meaning graduates will be eligible to take the national exam. Locations that offer the program are located in Anderson and South Bend. The website does not specify any prerequisites for the program at this time.
  • University of Southern Indiana. Located in Evansville, this school’s dental hygiene program is selective, which comes with stricter prerequisites. Applicants must have completed coursework in sociology, math, microbiology, chemistry and other post-secondary topics before they will be considered for the dental hygiene program.

Licensure to Become a Dental Hygienist in Indiana

Licensure for dental hygienists in Indiana is managed by the Indiana State Board of Dentistry (ISBD). The ISBD requires that dental hygienists:

  • First complete an associate’s degree at a CODA-accredited school
  • Pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (NBDHE) administered by the American Dental Association (ADA)
  • Successfully complete an approved clinical regional examination
  • Pass an Indiana jurisprudence test, covering subjects such as dental hygiene laws, Indiana health codes, etc.
  • Pass a criminal background check

A dental hygienist who has completed these tasks can be licensed to practice in the state of Indiana.

Dental Hygienists Salary in Indiana

In 2020, 4,990 Indiana dental hygienists were employed in this high-paying career field throughout Indiana. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that they earned a mean hourly income of $35.36. Employment rates in the state are expected to increase even more over the years, with an estimated 11 percent increase by 2028.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Bloomington, IN60$31.80$66,150
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI6,320$36.77$76,490
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN1,900$33.98$70,670
Elkhart-Goshen, IN200$30.10$62,600
Evansville, IN-KY**$33.05$68,750
Fort Wayne, IN350$28.79$59,880
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN1,670$33.31$69,280
Kokomo, IN130$33.21$69,070
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN100$31.98$66,510
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN730$31.37$65,260
Michigan City-La Porte, IN100$29.20$60,740
Muncie, IN110$33.20$69,070
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI340$32.42$67,420
Terre Haute, IN**$32.68$67,980

Working as a Dental Hygienist in Indiana

In 2017, Indianapolis was the city with the most employed dental hygienists. With 1,660 dental hygienists working that year, Indianapolis made up a little less than a fourth of the entire state’s dental hygienists. With Indiana’s high projected increase of 11 percent in employment of dental hygienists, anyone would be wise to consider this field. If you can complete the training and pass the exams, you are set on a career path that promises to continue offering jobs and a strong income for years to come.

College and University Listings in Indiana

Fort Wayne, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne

2101 E Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805-1499
(260) 481-6100

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Fort Wayne campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This is a full, 4-year private college with 13,771 students, of which 95% are undergraduates. Typical in-state tuition is approximately $7,013 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Indiana are $16,845.

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

425 University Blvd, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5143
(317) 274-5555

The Bachelor’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Indianapolis campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. Of the 30,451 students, about 27% are postgraduates. In-state tuition fees are approximately $8,756 per year. The fees for students from outside Indiana are $29,571.

Ivy Tech Community College

50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
(317) 921-4800

The Associate’s program at Ivy Tech Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Indianapolis. This private, not-for-profit college has about 100,272 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $3,605 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $7,632.

Evansville, IN-KY

University of Southern Indiana

8600 University Blvd, Evansville, Indiana 47712
(812) 464-8600

The University of Southern Indiana at Evansville offers a Bachelor program in Dental Hygiene. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This is a full, 4-year private college with 10,467 students, of which 91% are undergraduates. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $6,698 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students is $15,553.