Located in the southeastern region, Arkansas is known for sprawling recreational areas and a wide range of different natural feats, ranging from mountains and caves to hot springs and rivers. Couple that with some of the best hiking trails the country has to offer, and you have one of the most impressive landscapes for outdoor lovers.
For those that prefer more of a city life, Arkansas has something for you as well. Little Rock, the capital of the state, offers a growing economy as well as a slightly diverse population. While it is not one of the most bustling cities, with under one million residents, it fits the history and culture of the state, which is filled with small towns and a slow culture with an emphasis on simple living.
Regardless of your desired lifestyle, Arkansas has an option for you, with one of the lowest costs of living in the nation. With its central location and close proximity to transportation hubs, Arkansas has much opportunity and potential.
Career Outlook and Salary
Ongoing scientific research and developments continue to link oral health to general health concerns, which makes the need for dental care continue to rise. Estimations show a growth rate in this career field to be around 33% over the next seven years, a much higher rate than the average for all career fields.
The annual salary for dental hygienists in Arkansas ranges from $45,000 to $70,000, with the average earning potential being around $58,000. Little Rock, Arkansas has the highest median annual salary for dental hygienists, at just over $60,000. As the cost of living decreases, in the less populated cities, the estimated salary does as well.
More than half of dental hygienists work as part time professionals, so it is important to note that salaries are often calculated into hourly rates, depending on the classification. In addition to the salary packages, most dental hygienist professionals also receive benefit packages that include healthcare, retirement plan, pension, disability and time off options.
To be considered for a dental hygienist license in Arkansas, you must submit an application and meet the following requirements:
- Be a practicing hygienist for less than five years.
- Graduation from a school accredited by the American Dental Association’ Commission or Dental Accreditation, which included the dental hygienist education and training approved by these boards. A transcript as well as a copy of your diploma is necessary for your application.
- Successful completion of the National Board Examination for Dental Hygiene, administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.
- Satisfactory completion of the clinical dental hygiene exam administered by the Southern Regional Testing Agency, within the past five years.
- Passage of the Arkansas Jurisprudence Examination.
- CPR Certification
- Submission to a complete criminal background check conducted by the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners.
- Official verification from every state where licensed.
Dental Hygiene is the most common and recommended program for dental hygienists and it is offered at several colleges throughout Arkansas. Below are a few of the best colleges offering dental hygiene programs.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
College of Health Sciences
Dental Hygiene Department
5210 Grand Avenue – P. O. Box 3649
Fort Smith, AR 72913
University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences
College of Health Professions
Dental Hygiene Program
4301 W. Markham St. #609
Little Rock, AR 72205