Becoming a Dental Hygienist in Nevada
The fulfilling career of dental hygiene is booming in Nevada and across the rest of the country, as employment rates are on the rise for this job into the near future. For health-oriented individuals who like to work with their hands, dental hygiene may be an ideal career path. These valued dental health professionals are trained in tooth cleaning, oral health examination, patient education on oral health and more. With a relatively short required education time of two years, dental hygienists make solid incomes and enjoy plenty of job opportunities in exchange for their study.
If you want to become a dental hygienist in Nevada, you must first obtain your high school diploma or GED equivalent. Before you can enroll in most dental hygiene programs, you need will need to complete prerequisite college courses as well. Most programs require minimum GPA or standardized test scores for dental hygiene applicants, so it’s important to take prerequisite study seriously.
For information on dental assistant schools in Nevada, and the requirements to work as a professional in the state, see this page.
Training and Educational Programs
Nevada offers excellent dental hygiene programs accredited by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), including:
- College of Southern Nevada (CSN). This school offers an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene as well as two bachelor’s degrees in the field. Prerequisites the Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program include 36 credits in required coursework including Anatomy, Physiology, Communication, English and Science courses. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA in all prerequisite courses to be considered for the dental hygiene program.
- Truckee Meadows Community College. Located in Reno, this school offers a two-year, full-time Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene after accepted students have completed general education requirements and core prerequisite coursework. With only 14 students accepted annually, this is a competitive program.
After graduating from a CODA-accredited dental hygiene program, Nevada dental hygienists may register to take the National Board Dental Health Exam and a state-approved clinical exam administered by either the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc. (CITA), the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) or Western Regional Examining Board (WREB). Like many other states, applicants must also complete a Nevada jurisprudence test on Nevada-specific dental practice and laws. After successful completion of these exams, applicants will be granted their licenses by the Nevada State Dental Health Board.
Nevada dental hygienists may also apply for a Dental Hygiene Special Healthcare Endorsement granted by the state Board.
Career and Salary Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists in Nevada reported a mean salary of $40.44 per hour or $84,110 annually in 2017. Theirs was a much higher income than the national median salary of $35.61 per hour or $74,070 annually that same year.
With a total of 1,950 dental hygienists employed in Nevada in 2016, employment rates are expected to increase by 15.9 percent by 2026.
Working as a Dental Hygienist in Nevada
While dental hygienists may find work all over the state, the highest employment rate for dental hygienists, by far, was in the Las Vegas area in 2017. However, Reno employed the highest paid dental hygienists in Nevada that year, with a mean salary of $48.23 per hour or $100,310 annually. Reno’s mean income rates are much higher than the national average. With these salary and employment outlooks, a career path in dental hygiene has never looked so good in Nevada.
The Bachelor program at College of Southern Nevada is taught at their Las Vegas campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. The majority of the school’s 35,678 students are on 4-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $2,700 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of Nevada are $9,345.
The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Reno campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 11,603 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $2,700 per year. Fees for students from other states are $9,345.