Imagining life as a dental hygienist in Montana is as simple as considering the name of the state, which comes from the Spanish word for “mountain.” Indeed, Montana is known as the “Land of the Shining Mountains” and “The Last Best Place.” It is also called “Big Sky Country” and “The Treasure State.” All these nicknames reflect the majestic grandeur of the wild, desolate landscapes which Montana is known for around the world.
As the fourth largest state in terms of size but the 44th most populous, Montana is a land of open roads and breathtaking vistas. The capital is Helena, while the largest city is Billings. But Montana is also known for scenic towns like Missoula and Bozeman.
The state is a veritable paradise for hikers, skiers, snowboarders, and other outdoor adventurers. Major destinations include Big Sky, Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, the Yellowstone River, and Yellowstone National Park. These parks are so famous that tourists flock to them from countries all around the world every single year.
Ready to move to Montana so you can live and work in one of the most beautiful states in the country? First, you’ll probably want to learn a bit more about salary expectations and job openings. Let’s take a look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
Career Outlook and Salary
In Montana, the BLS reports there are roughly 770 dental hygienists at work, making on average $69,730 per year. The mean nationwide is $73,440. The cost of living in Montana is somewhat high overall, and quite high in certain locations. So this does not appear to be directly related to the cost of living. If anything, you would expect the salary to be higher than the nationwide average.
Still, this is common with states with tourism-based economies. Montana exerts a magnetic pull on travelers worldwide, and as a result, that is something which drives up costs across the state for food, transportation, housing, and more. But most tourists are not using dental services, so the pay for the job is not inflated with the other costs of living.
In light of this, the fact that the salary is almost average is actually pretty good, because really the benefits of living in Montana go beyond finances. Living and working here means paradise is in your backyard. As to the matter of demand, employment opportunities for dental hygienists are increasing at a growth rate of 19%, so that is great news for your future.
If you want to become a Montana dental hygienist, you will have to meet the following requirements in order to obtain your license:
- Graduate from a program in dental hygiene which has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
- Successfully pass examination by the National Board.
- Pass the Jurisprudence Exam.
- Obtain the following certifications and provide proof: CPR, PALS, ACLS.
- Take and pass a clinical examination which has Board approval. This must have taken place inside the past five years.
- If applying for a local anesthesia permit, you must take the exam offered by WREB and pass it.
- Pay the $100 application fee, the $85 jurisprudence exam fee, and (if applicable) the $20 anesthesia permit fee.
Ready to become a dental hygienist in Big Sky Country? Check the list below to find accredited dental hygiene programs in Montana.
Great Falls College Montana State University
Dental Hygiene Program
2100 16th Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405-0000