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

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as a Dental Hygienist, Technician or Therapist. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists.

    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

    More about Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

    All Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

    All Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists

    • Unavailable Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Unavailable Unemployment
    • 8,400 workers Employment Size
    • High skill Skill level rating
    • 61% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 60% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 6,100 in 2014 to 8,400 in 2019.

    Caution: The Australian jobs market is changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These estimates do not take account of the impact of COVID-19. They may not reflect the current jobs market and should be used and interpreted with extreme caution.

    • Size: This is a small occupation.
    • Location: Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Health Care and Social Assistance; Manufacturing; and Public Administration and Safety.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (61%, similar to the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 60% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Caution: The 2019 employment projections do not take account of any impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore no longer reflective of current labour market conditions. As such, they should be used, and interpreted, with extreme caution. Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, National Skills Commission trend data to May 2019 and projections to 2024.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20094000
    20106200
    20118000
    20125000
    20137500
    20146100
    20157500
    20169200
    20176400
    20187100
    20198400
    20248900

    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 Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Health Care and Social Assistance67.8
    Manufacturing28.7
    Public Administration and Safety1.2
    Education and Training0.6
    Other Industries1.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW25.831.6
    VIC22.925.6
    QLD21.120.0
    SA10.17.0
    WA15.710.8
    TAS2.12.0
    NT0.61.0
    ACT1.61.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    15-190.5-5.05.0
    20-246.9-9.39.3
    25-3429.2-22.922.9
    35-4422.7-22.022.0
    45-5421.3-21.621.6
    55-5911.6-9.09.0
    60-645.1-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.7-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationDental Hygienists, Technicians and TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.6-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree32.4-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma46.9-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV13.5-21.121.1
    Year 123.6-18.118.1
    Year 110.5-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.6-12.512.5

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as a Dental Hygienist, Technician or Therapist. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists.

    You may also need to be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • radiation licence
    • driver's licence
    • national police check
    • working with children check
    • first aid certificate
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Customer and personal service

      74% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Medicine and dentistry

      65% Skill level

      Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

    3. Psychology

      63% Skill level

      Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

    4. English language

      54% Skill level

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

    5. Sales and marketing

      50% Skill level

      Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Contact with people

      100% Important

      Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

    2. Disease or infection

      100% Important

      Be exposed to disease or infections.

    3. Wear common protective or safety equipment

      100% Important

      Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

    4. Physically close to people

      100% Important

      Work physically close to other people.

    5. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      99% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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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