Which Schools Offer Dental Hygienist Programs in Alabama?

Learn about the dental hygienist programs available in Alabama. See program options, requirements and courses, and get career and salary info for the region. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A dental hygiene degree program is only offered at one school in Alabama. The 2-year, public college offers an associate's degree that should take five semesters to complete, if you attend full time. If you have previous experience in dentistry, you may qualify for a 1-year dental hygiene training program that's also offered in Alabama. Read on for more information about these programs that can help you become a licensed dental hygienist in Alabama.


Dental Hygiene Associate Degree Programs in Alabama

Wallace State Community College

  • Program Name: Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: Five semesters, full-time
  • Tuition: $4,080 per year for residents; $7,290 per year for non-residents (2011-2012, tuition and fees)
  • Prerequisites: ACT scores of 18 or higher, minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Requirements: Physical exam, current CPR certification, criminal and drug screening tests
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 6,400 undergraduate students
  • Address: 801 Main St. NW, Hanceville, AL 35077
  • Phone: (256) 352-8000

Wallace State Community College offers an accredited dental hygiene program that prepares you to sit for the state licensing exam. The associate degree program is 75-76 credit hours total and takes five semesters to complete. You can expect to take courses in dental radiology, periodontology and pharmacology. In addition, the courses you take in this program can be transferred to Athens State University or the University of Alabama at Birmingham toward bachelor's degree completion programs in health science.

Wallace State also offers cooperative programs with a number of Alabama colleges and universities. For example, if you live closer to an affiliated community college or university in the state, you may be able to complete some of your dental hygiene prerequisite coursework before enrolling at Wallace State. Currently, there are sixteen schools in Alabama that are part of this cooperative program, including Bishop State Community College, Central Alabama Community College and the University of West Alabama.


Dental Hygiene Non-Degree Programs in Alabama

Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama

  • Program Name: Alabama Dental Hygiene Program
  • Program Length: One year
  • Tuition: $700 (for 2012-2013)
  • Prerequisites: Minimum two years of full-time employment as a dental assistant, full-time current employment with dentist-instructor of program
  • Requirements: Pre-entrance exam, at least 18 years old
  • Address: 5346 Stadium Trace Parkway, Suite 112 Hoover, AL 35244
  • Phone: (205) 985-7267

If you are interested in a non-degree program that prepares you for state licensing as a dental hygienist, you can enroll in a program offered by directly by the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama. This program utilizes the University of Alabama's School of Dentistry's facilities and has a pass-fail format instead of issuing traditional grades. You may qualify for this program if you have two years of experience as a dental assistant and are currently employed with a dentist-instructor who has been certified by the program. When you complete the program, you will be eligible to sit for the state licensing exam.


Licensing and Training Information for Dental Hygienists in Alabama

Dental hygienists must be licensed in order to provide services in the state of Alabama. You can become licensed by successfully passing the state exam given by the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama. The exam consists of both written and clinical components. To qualify for licensing, you need to have completed a board-approved training program. Most dental hygienist training programs can be completed in two years and often result in an associate degree.

There is currently only one not-for-profit school in Alabama offering a dental hygienist program accredited by the American Dental Association. However, if you have previous experience in the field, the Alabama Board also offers its own dental hygienist training program that doesn't confer a degree or award college credits, but will qualify you for licensing upon successful completion.

Salary and Job Outlook for Dental Hygienists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determined there were 3,250 dental hygienists employed in Alabama as of May 2011. The BLS also found that this group earned an average annual salary of approximately $45,000. This is significantly lower than the average salary of around $70,000 for dental hygienists across the nation. The BLS expects employment opportunities for dental hygienists to increase by a rapid 38% between 2010 and 2020.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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