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Become a Dental Hygienist in North Carolina

There are excellent prospects for the demand for dental hygienists across the US and particularly in North Carolina. [Seguir leyendo en español]

The North Carolina Department of Commerce, Labor and Economic Analysis Division, predicts growth of around 21% in the numbers of dental hygienists in North Carolina in the ten years to 2028. This equates to around 1,450 new job openings during the period, when job growth and replacement are taken into account. (Find out about dental assistant schools in North Carolina).

Requirements for Dental Hygienist in North Carolina

To become a dental hygienist in North Carolina, you must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program, pass the CITA (Council of Interstate Testing Agencies) Dental Hygiene exam and pass the National Board exam. Also required are written exams in infection control, as well as North Carolina jurisprudence.

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Dental Hygienist Salaries in North Carolina

As of the first quarter of 2020, dental hygienists in North Carolina earned an average of $72,020. In Charlotte, NC they earned a median annual salary of $74,090. This ranged from $59,190 for entry-level hygienists to $90,090 for experienced career professionals. You can add bonuses, perks and other benefits, depending on various factors.(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

In Raleigh, the median annual pay was $74,730, with a range between $51,430 and $87,350, depending on experience.

AreaTotal EmployedMean Hourly WageMean Annual Salary
Asheville, NC390$28.59$59,480
Burlington, NC130$34.61$71,990
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC1,700$33.99$70,710
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC**$34.43$71,620
Fayetteville, NC260$32.14$66,850
Goldsboro, NC70$34.01$70,740
Greensboro-High Point, NC590$29.79$61,970
Greenville, NC70$30.56$63,570
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC160$31.18$64,860
Jacksonville, NC70$27.00$56,160
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC150$26.75$55,640
New Bern, NC80$33.89$70,490
Raleigh, NC880$33.44$69,550
Rocky Mount, NC80$28.98$60,270
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,200$34.17$71,070
Wilmington, NC280$34.80$72,370
Winston-Salem, NC410$34.55$71,850

Dental Hygienist Schools in North Carolina

There are 27 educational programs/majors in the State of North Carolina. Of those, 13 dental hygiene programs (and 20 dental assistant programs) are accredited by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Some of those institutions naturally provide both types of dental programs.

Jacksonville, NC

Coastal Carolina Community College – Dental Hygiene: “Coastal”, as it is locally known, is located at 444 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546. It is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditations (CDA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC). It offers a 2-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree that begins each Fall Semester.

Coastal Carolina Community College

Its Program Overview website estimates total costs at $14,905, including books, scrubs, and a variety of other expenses (please contact student services at (910) 938-6394 for their latest estimates of costs and other pre-requisite information). Students rotate between the on-campus dental clinic and a clinic at Camp Lejeune.

Winston-Salem, NC

Forsyth Tech Dental Hygiene offers a 2-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree that starts each Fall semester. Admission requirements include HS or GED, completion of orientation and of an eye and dental exam, as well as completion of 8 hours of observation at a dentist’s office and subsequent form. Grade C or better in all courses will also be required to successfully progress and complete the entire program. Financial aid for Degree programs is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and work study. To learn more about the process of applying for financial aid, register at this financial aid counselling center.

Chapel Hill, NC

University of North Carolina School of Dentistry is a CODA-accredited, 29,000-student public college that offers a 4-year, full-time BS Degree in dental Hygiene that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Tuition and fees for in-state students came to $8,591 for the 2015-2016 academic year ($33.673 for out-of-state students). Prerequisites include a skin TB test, positive Varicella titer, and hepatitis immunization. If you already have an AS or AAS degree in dental hygiene, you can take advantage by completing courses for a BS.


Wake Technical Community College is NC’s largest community college located at 9101 Fayetteville Road Raleigh, NC 27603 (919-866-5000). With over 71,000 students in five campuses, and multiple training centers and community sites, WTCC offers a 4-semister Dental Hygiene AAS Degree. Pre-dental hygiene students have to attend a mandatory orientation session at the Perry Health Sciences campus at 2901 Holston Lane, Raleigh, NC 27610 (919-747-0400), take a placement test, and complete the WTCC application form by registering here.

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