Becoming a Dental Hygienist in West Virginia

If you enjoy working in a hands-on environment and interacting face-to-face with others on a daily basis, dental hygiene may be a rewarding career for you. Those who work as dental hygienists will typically clean teeth, perform oral examinations on patients to check for diseases and help patients understand how to maintain their own dental hygiene.

 

Dental Hygienist Prerequisites

In the state of West Virginia, dental hygienists are required to complete at least a two-year degree program in dental hygiene before being eligible to practice. Next, dental hygienists must successfully complete the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) offered by the American Dental Association (ADA), as well as a regional or state clinical exam. Finally, hygienists will need to submit an application for licensing to the West Virginia Board of Dentistry before finding employment in this state.

Educational Programs for Dental Hygiene

Since you will need to complete a degree program in order to work as a dental hygienist, it is a wise decision to choose one that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Both programs listed below are CODA-accredited.

  • BridgeValley Community and Technical College. This school has campuses in the cities of South Charleston and Montgomery. Students may complete an associate’s degree program in dental hygiene, which will require about two years of study. Prerequisites to enter this program include 20 hours of dental hygiene shadowing as well as two letters of recommendation.
  • West Virginia University School of Dentistry. This school is located in the city of Morgantown. Students may earn a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene, which will require four years of study to complete. New student requirements include a background check, personal interview and more.  

See Dental Assistant Schools in West Virginia.

State Licensing Requirements

Before receiving your license to work as a dental hygienist in West Virginia, you will need to complete a regional or state licensing exam that is offered by one of the following testing agencies:

  • Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA)
  • The Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc. (CITA)
  • Central Regional Dental Testing Service, Inc. (CRDTS)
  • The Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
  • The Western Regional Examining Board, Inc. (WREB)

Salary and Career Information

According to figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dental hygienists in West Virginia earned an average of $26.43 per hour during 2017, which is equivalent to $54,970 per year. The top 10 percent of dental hygienists working in this state earned more than $73,000 per year, according to the same data.

BLS figures also indicate that there were 1,030 people working as dental hygienists in West Virginia during 2016. By 2026, the BLS expects there will be a total of 1,170 people employed in this career field in West Virginia, signifying a 13.2 percent expansion in the field during this 10-year period.

Popular Programs

 

Working as a Dental Hygienist in West Virginia

Dental hygienists in West Virginia can expect to earn the highest compensation in cities like Falling Waters, Capon Bridge and Rio.

You can expect to work at dental clinics, hospitals, medical facilities or other places where dental hygiene services will be needed. If this sounds like a rewarding career to you, consider enrolling in a dental hygiene training program today.

College Listings

Beckley, WV

BridgeValley Community and Technical College

619 2nd Avenue, Montgomery, West Virginia 25136
(304) 734-6601
https://www.bridgevalley.edu/dental-hygiene

The Associate’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Montgomery campus. This program of study is ADA accredited. Most of the school’s 1,070 students are on 2-year programs. In-state tuition fees are approximately $4,010 per year. Fees for students from other states are $8,950.

Wheeling, WV-OH

West Liberty University

208 University Drive, West Liberty, West Virginia 26074
(304) 336-5000
https://westliberty.edu/health-sciences/academics/dental-hygiene/associates-degree/

The Associate’s program at West Liberty University is offered at their campus in West Liberty in Ohio County. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. Of the 2,804 students, about 3% are postgraduates. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $6,226 per year. The fees for students from outside West Virginia are $13,540.

West Liberty University

208 University Drive, West Liberty, West Virginia 26074
(304) 336-5000
https://westliberty.edu/health-sciences/academics/dental-hygiene/four-year-dental-hygiene-program/

The Bachelor program at West Liberty University is taught at their West Liberty campus. This program of study is accredited by the ADA. Of the 2,804 students, about 3% are postgraduates. In-state tuition is approximately $6,226 per year. The fees for students from outside the state of West Virginia are $13,540.

Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University

Stewart Hall, 1500 University Avenue, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6201
(304) 293-0111
https://admissions.wvu.edu/academics/majors/dental-hygiene

The Bachelor’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Morgantown campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This is a full, 4-year private college with 29,707 students, of which 77% are undergraduates. In-state tuition is approximately $6,456 per year, while students from other states will pay $19,632.

West Virginia University

Stewart Hall, 1500 University Avenue, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6201
(304) 293-0111
https://dentistry.hsc.wvu.edu/departments/dental-hygiene/

The Master’s degree program is imparted at the college’s Morgantown campus. This program of study is accredited by the American Dental Association. This is a full, 4-year private college with 29,707 students, of which 77% are undergraduates. Typical in-state tuition fees are approximately $6,456 per year. Fees for out-of-state students are $19,632.

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