If your dream is to live in a beautiful state which boasts some of the most dramatic mountains anywhere in the US, consider working as a dental hygienist in the state of Wyoming. Wyoming is the tenth largest state in the country and the number one least populated. It is a land of solitude, tranquility, and majesty.
The capital of Wyoming is Cheyenne, but the state is in many respects better known for its smaller tourist towns such as Jackson and Cody. Jackson is situated right near the Grand Tetons and features some incredible ski slopes. Just to the north is Yellowstone National Park, famous around the world for its wildlife, geysers, and mountain scenery. In short, Wyoming is paradise on earth for any outdoor adventurer looking to make some of the country’s most astonishing natural splendor into his or her backyard.
Career Outlook and Salary
Before you pack up your bags and move to Wyoming to enroll in a dental hygiene school however, you probably are wondering what kind of living you can make and whether the demand is sufficient. In such an unpopulated state, will you find the opportunities you need to soar to the top of your field?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) compiled data on dental hygiene employment throughout the United States in May of 2016. They found that in Wyoming, the annual mean wage is $68,810, whereas nationwide it was $73,440. They also found that Wyoming employed 490 dental hygienists at that time.
While this is not a huge population of dental hygienists at work, remember that this is to be expected in a state with such a low population to begin with. As the field of dental hygiene is growing by leaps and bounds at a rate of 19%, there should be new job openings over the years ahead.
You may be concerned about the annual mean wage being less than the nationwide average. This however reflects the fact that Wyoming’s overall cost of living is lower than the national average as well.
That being said, there are huge variations in both cost of living and salaries throughout Wyoming. If you live in the southeastern part of the state for example, the annual mean wage is only $60,300—but that is also a less expensive area. The western part of the state is far more expensive to live in, but wages are also more competitive; along most of the western border, you can earn a mean annual wage of $80,030.
Considering there are other tourism-based areas in the country which likewise are pricey to live in but do not pay dental hygienists this well, that actually makes Wyoming an excellent choice.
Have you decided that you would like to make Wyoming your home? Here is what you need to do to get your dental hygiene license to practice in Wyoming:
- Submit the application along with the fee of $150. This must be paid via money order or cashier’s check.
- You need to prove your identity and residency in the United States.
- Pass a CPR certification course from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or any other course which has been approved by the Board. Provide the Board with a copy of your current certification cards.
- Take and pass an accredited dental hygiene program and have the university send your official transcripts straight to the Board.
- Take and pass the National Board Examination, and again have the scores sent directly to the Board.
- You must pass a regional board examination as well. These scores must also be sent to the Board without passing through your hands.
- List three personal references along with three professional references. Two of the professional references may be either dentists or dental hygienists—but at least one of them has to be a dentist. The personal references can be anyone you have known for within the past decade who is not a spouse or relative.
- You must pass the Wyoming Jurisprudence Examination.
- In the case that you have decided to apply for expanded functions, you will need to verify your relevant education.
Ready and excited to move to the beautiful state of Wyoming to begin your career as a dental hygienist? Below you can view a full list of colleges in the state which are offering accredited dental hygiene courses.
Laramie County Community College
Health Science and Wellness
Dental Hygiene Program
1400 East College Drive
Cheyenne, WY 82007-3299
Northern Wyoming Community College District
Dental Hygiene Department
P.O. Box 1500/3059 Coffeen Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801-1500