How to Become a Dental Hygienist in New Jersey - NJ
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are currently 173,090 dental hygienists practicing in the United States. These numbers are expected to grow almost 30 percent through 2016, which is much faster than the average job growth pace. The highest percentages of these workers are on the East Coast. Most dental hygienists work in dental offices but jobs are also available in medical and surgical hospitals, outpatient care centers, and offices of physicians. There are currently 4,650 registered dental hygienists in New Jersey. As the general population increases its demands for dental care, the services of dental hygienists becomes even more valuable.
How to Become a Dental Hygienist in New Jersey
- Complete a high school education or GED equivalent and be at least 18 years of age. It is also beneficial if you have completed courses in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, and algebra.
- Apply to a dental hygiene program. Schooling for a dental hygienist generally lasts two years, although some programs take three years to complete. Dental hygiene is a competitive field; therefore it may be difficult to get in to some dental hygiene programs.
- Pass the national dental hygiene board examination prior to graduation from dental hygiene school. Once you pass that, you will be eligible to sit for the New Jersey state clinical board examination. An exam on the legal aspects of the profession may also be required.
- Submit an application with the State Board of Dentistry for a dental hygienist license. All requirements must be met and any additional information the board requires submitted along with the application.