Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists provide supportive dental services in preventative and restorative dental procedures, and construct and repair dental appliances.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed, with three in five workers having a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing is also required.

Tasks

  • providing educational programs to motivate children, parents and the community in matters relating to oral health
  • providing fluoride therapy by applying remineralising solutions and desensitising agents
  • removing deposits from teeth
  • applying non-invasive fissure sealants to teeth
  • taking impressions of the mouth
  • taking dental radiographs
  • administering local anaesthesia by infiltration and mandibular nerve block
  • fabricating full and partial dentures
  • constructing mouth guards, crowns, metal clasps, inlays, bridgework and other aids
  • repairing and relining denture bases

Job Titles

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Prosthetist
  • Dental Technician
  • Dental Therapist
  • Dental Hygienist

    Carries out preventative dental procedures under the direction of a Dentist. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Dental Prosthetist (also called Clinical Dental Technician)

    Designs, constructs, repairs and fits dentures and mouthguards. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Dental Technician

    Constructs and repairs dentures and other dental appliances. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Dental Laboratory Assistant

  • Dental Therapist

    Examines and treats diseases of the teeth in preschool, primary and secondary school children under the general supervision of a Dentist. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Oral Health Therapist

Fast Facts

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 6,200 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 66.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.4 hours Average full-time
  • 41.5 years Average age
  • 74.9% female Gender Share

The number of Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
from 6,200 in 2017 to 6,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a large number for an occupation of this size).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Manufacturing; and Other Services.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (66.4%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 74.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20075500
20084900
20094000
20106200
20118000
20124900
20137400
20146000
20157600
20169700
20176200
20226500

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance69.9
Manufacturing26.1
Other Services1.4
Public Administration and Safety1.3
Other Industries1.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDental Hygienists, Technicians and TherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW27.331.6
VIC21.526.2
QLD19.419.7
SA1.76.7
WA25.810.8
TAS3.12.0
NT1.11.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDental Hygienists, Technicians and TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-246.6-9.99.9
25-3436.9-23.623.6
35-449.2-21.721.7
45-5436.2-20.820.8
55-593.3-8.88.8
60-647.8-6.06.0
65 and Over0.0-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

An Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is usually needed, with three in five workers having a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing is also required.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Medicine and Dentistry

    94% Important

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    88% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    77% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Psychology

    70% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  5. Biology

    68% Important

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-2021.00 - Dental Hygienists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    91% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Getting Information

    90% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Documenting/Recording Information

    89% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    88% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    81% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-2021.00 - Dental Hygienists.

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