It’s called the Sunflower State, the Wheat State, and the Free State. Kansas is best known for its flat scenery and its abundant agricultural produce, including wheat, corn, soybeans and sorghum. By area, it is the 15th-largest state in the country. Population-wise, it comes in 34th, with fewer than 3 million residents.
The two most important cities in the state are Topeka, which is the capital, and Wichita, which is the largest city. Much of the land in Kansas is given over to the agricultural industry, but there are some protected areas you can explore, namely a number of historic trails. These include the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, the Oregon National Historic Trail, the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail, among others. There is also the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
What else can you do in Kansas? Animal lovers will want to check out the Sedgwick County Zoo, while those who are interested in flowers and landscaping will want to head to Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. Also remarkable is the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. In terms of museums, a few great places to visit include the Exploration Place, Old Cowtown Museum and the Museum of World Treasures.
But is Kansas a good place to launch a career in dental hygiene? Let’s find out what the numbers have to say.
Career Outlook and Salary
$73,440 is the mean annual salary for dental hygienists working throughout the United States. How does Kansas compare? Well, at first glance, it doesn’t look good. Dental hygienists working in Kansas are only making an annual mean wage of $65,730. That is quite a bit less than the nationwide mean. Additionally, dental hygienists in all the surrounding states are making more.
But consider that Kansas is regarded as one of the least expensive places to live in the country, and this lower salary makes sense. Because you are saving money on the cost of living, your salary goes further, and that means that you may end up living just as comfortably as you would in a higher-paying state.
As to demand, as of 2016, the BLS reported that 2,380 dental hygienists were hard at work in Kansas. With employment in the field increasing at a rate of 19%, that should represent more than a few openings in the Sunflower State over the next few years.
If you have decided you would like to become a dental hygienist in Kansas, here are the licensing requirements you will need to meet:
- Graduate from a dental hygiene program which has been approved by the ADA. Have your school send your transcript over directly to the Board.
- Provide a recent photograph.
- Take and pass the National Board exam and provide a copy of your scores. You can do this via email, paper mail or fax.
- Take and pass a clinical board exam and have your scores sent over (a copy is fine). The following are acceptable: CRDTS, SRTA, NERB, WREB, CITA, or ADEX.
- Obtain a CPR certification and provide a copy of your card.
- If you have held licenses in other states, provide verification for each of them. You cannot use copies for this; you need originals complete with embossed board seals from the states. All must be in sealed envelopes.
- Submit a self-query to the National Practitioner Data Bank and send the results to the Board.
- Fill out your application, sign it, notarize it, and submit it by mail.
- Complete and pass the Jurisprudence Exam.
- If you have certification in local anesthesia or nitrous oxide, submit that.
- Pay the associated fees.
Ready to become a dental hygienist in Kansas? You are closer than you think! Below, we have compiled a list of accredited dental hygiene programs offered by colleges throughout the Sunflower State. Choose your program and apply, and you’ll be on your way!
Flint Hills Technical College
Dental Hygiene Program
3301 W. 18th Ave.
Emporia, KS 66801-0000
Johnson County Community College
Dental Hygiene Department
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210-1299
Manhattan Area Technical College
3136 Dickens Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66503-2499
Wichita State University
College of Health Professions
Dental Hygiene Department
Wichita, KS 67260-0144