If natural beauty and solitude are your ideals, you may very well be drawn to the beautiful state of North Dakota. As the 18th largest state geographically, it is also the 4th least populous in the US. Located in the Great Plains, it is bordered by Montana, Minnesota, South Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The largest city is Fargo, while Bismarck is the state’s capital. Much of the state is farmland; North Dakota is a major producer for flaxseed, beans, sunflower oil, wheat, honey, and lentils.
In terms of recreation, you will find much of natural and historical interest in North Dakota. The most popular attraction in the state by far is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where you can watch bison roaming across the prairie amid picturesque buttes. Also popular are Fort Abraham Lincoln, the North Dakota Heritage Center, the Red River Zoo, and the state capitol building.
Interested? North Dakota has plenty to offer a dental hygienist in search of a unique and scenic state to call home. But let’s see what kinds of career opportunities are available!
Career Outlook and Salary
If you were to live and work in North Dakota as a dental hygienist, you could expect a mean annual salary of around $65,500. This data comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nationwide, the mean is closer to $73,440.
Considering that the cost of living in North Dakota is about average compared to the rest of the country, the reason for this discrepancy is not entirely clear. It is likely however a reflection of differences in cost of living at the local level. For example, in the western part of the state, the annual mean wage is very close to the average—around $72,880. The same goes for the eastern part of the state. Wages are however much lower in the middle of the state, likely because these areas are less expensive.
I recommend looking up the specific part of North Dakota you are interested in moving to, and checking the wages and the cost of living in that area. The field is increasing at a rate of 19%, which is great—it means a lot of job openings appearing over the coming years.
If you have decided you may want to become a dental hygienist in North Dakota, here is what you need to do in order to get your license:
- Take and pass the exam from the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) or the Dental Hygiene Certification Board of Canada anytime within the past two years.
- Take and pass a clinical exam within the same timeframe.
- Provide papers to verify your identity. If you have changed your name, you need to document that too.
- Be current with your CPR license and provide proof.
- Pay the applicable fees for your application and licensing.
- Get three references to send letters on your behalf directly to the Board.
- If you will be performing anesthesia, be sure to fill out the permit application and submit that.
- Pass an accredited dental hygiene program at a college or university and have your official transcripts sent from the school directly to the Board.
- Provide a notarized copy of your diploma.
- Take and pass the Jurisprudence & Ethics Examination offered by the state.
- Prove that you are physically and visually capable of performing your job.
If you are ready to begin on your journey toward becoming a North Dakota dental hygienist, then you can take the first step by checking out the list of colleges below. All of these North Dakota schools offer accredited dental hygiene programs.
North Dakota State College of Sciences
Allied Dental Education Department
Dental Hygiene Program
800 North 6th Street
Wahpeton, ND 58076-0002