The Salary & Benefits Survey

A very public and lively discussion about how you feel about your job.

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by Mark Hartley, Editor

1,848 people locked into a room
For one week, it was quite a crowd

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There were four folks from South Dakota, and 142 of the most headstrong individuals from the planet of dental hygiene ¿ the California crowd. They made up a fraction of the 1,848 dental hygienists who participated in the 2002 salary and benefits survey in RDH magazine. They answered a 23-question survey that was published in the August 2002 issue. By the end of September, they had responded either by snail-mail, fax, e-mail, or had, for the first time, completed the questionnaire in an online version at www.rdhmag.com (555 completed it on the Internet).

There were four folks from South Dakota, and 142 of the most headstrong individuals from the planet of dental hygiene — the California crowd. They made up a fraction of the 1,848 dental hygienists who participated in the 2002 salary and benefits survey in RDH magazine. They answered a 23-question survey that was published in the August 2002 issue. By the end of September, they had responded either by snail-mail, fax, e-mail, or had, for the first time, completed the questionnaire in an online version at www.rdhmag.com (555 completed it on the Internet).

In October, a little wizard named Julie Harris compiled the various statistics into a pile thicker than — well, it's been a while since I've seen the New York City Yellow Pages, but the pile was definitely thicker than RDH's hometown telephone directory in Tulsa.

By the end of November, I set aside a week to browse through all of the statistics and locked myself into a room with 1,848 people, studying — figuratively speaking — their pay stubs. During coffee breaks, we shot the breeze about such things as happiness in dental hygiene and rating the boss.

It was kind of crowded, but the number of "young people" who showed up impressed me. I'm not singling out 21-year-olds with the quote marks. But, as everyone knows, some of the people who arrive for the first day of class at dental hygiene school have voted in several U.S. presidential elections, not just the last one.

The question was, "For how many years have you been a licensed hygienist?" Thirty-six percent have held a license for 10 years or fewer. At 37 percent was the group who has been around for 11 to 25 years. The older veterans of more than 25 years accounted for 26 percent.

Just a wild guess?
How Madden would do it

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One of my sons introduced me to the John Madden football game produced by EA Sports. One feature of the game involves dealing with a computerized "sports agent" to keep your team under the salary cap. One of the agent's standard lines goes something like, "Add some zeroes after that figure and maybe we'll talk."

One of my sons introduced me to the John Madden football game produced by EA Sports. One feature of the game involves dealing with a computerized "sports agent" to keep your team under the salary cap. One of the agent's standard lines goes something like, "Add some zeroes after that figure and maybe we'll talk."

In a very overwhelming sense, there were a lot of zeroes in response to our query about "estimates" for 2002 income. It's not so much that hygienists "add" zeroes; they just use a lot of them. Readers would cite figures such as "$35,000," "$40,000," or "$55,000." Very few would list a figure such as "$37,923.89." Most of the hygienists:

• Are on hourly and daily rates that are dependent on appointment books being filled
• Work full-time (60 percent work 30 or more hours a week)
• Have a personal life outside dental hygiene and RDH magazine

The latter two factors probably explain why not a whole lot of kitchen tables were cleared for this project. We asked for an estimate, and I think that's what we got, meaning the calculator stayed in the drawer. The memory of the April 2002 tax filing, a mental calculation of the impact of the last wage hike, and perhaps a little wistful or ambitious thinking affected most of the answers.

Regardless, everyone was much more exact in sharing hourly and daily rates — perhaps a more important number to scrutinize in the state-by-state breakdowns.

The bachelor and the associate

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For the first time on the salary survey, we asked if the respondent earned an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree en route to becoming a licensed hygienist. We wanted to get a feel for how much relevance the type of degree has on the pay scale. For the record, 1,368 earned an associate's degree; 447 indicated the bachelor's degree. A small crowd of 24 was trained "on the job" ¿ primarily from Alabama (known for its "preceptorship" training).

For the first time on the salary survey, we asked if the respondent earned an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree en route to becoming a licensed hygienist. We wanted to get a feel for how much relevance the type of degree has on the pay scale. For the record, 1,368 earned an associate's degree; 447 indicated the bachelor's degree. A small crowd of 24 was trained "on the job" — primarily from Alabama (known for its "preceptorship" training).

We figured out what most RDH readers have already probably guessed. The average annual income of a hygienist with a two-year degree is $43,862. If you have a four-year degree, the average is $43,745.

I remember a letter from a hygienist with an associate's degree who said something like, "What does reading Shakespeare have to do with dental hygiene?" As an editor speaking on behalf of those with four-year degrees, my reply would be, "It doesn't hurt."

67.339 percent for you, 32.661 percent for me
Motivate, motivate, motivate

Every year, RDH gets queried about hygienists earning commissions. As if. According to the survey, 61 percent do not earn "any commissions or bonuses."

Every year, RDH gets queried about hygienists earning commissions. As if. According to the survey, 61 percent do not earn "any commissions or bonuses."

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Of the remainder, 29 percent indicated they "typically receive some bonuses based on production." That left 10 percent to indicate whether "less than half of my income is based on commissions" (3 percent) or "more than half of my income is based on commissions" (7 percent).

The silent treatment
Employee reviews and salary increases

The survey asked questions about the time period in 2002 when the national economy was experiencing some of its bleakest moments. So RDH considers it a good thing that 68 percent of the respondents received a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002 (when the questionnaire was published). The raises occurred during a time period when many Americans were just grateful to have a job.

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The survey asked questions about the time period in 2002 when the national economy was experiencing some of its bleakest moments. So RDH considers it a good thing that 68 percent of the respondents received a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002 (when the questionnaire was published). The raises occurred during a time period when many Americans were just grateful to have a job.

So if the other dental employers kept silent about raises in 2001 and 2002, shall we blame it on the economy? But then there's the bad thing of the 13 percent who have not seen a raise within the last five years —a period that stretches back into rosier times.

Corporations typically have policies that require managers to conduct employee reviews once a year.

When times are hard, though, it gets tougher for managers to say, "I want you to improve doing this and that, but I can't give you a cost-of-living increase this year." Without the motivation, it gets harder to ask for improvements.

So it's a good thing that 41 percent of dental employers continue to conduct routine performance evaluations. Shall we blame the economy for 22 percent who do it on a "sporadic" basis?

Of course, there's still the 37 percent who "never" conduct employee evaluations. I guess dentists and some of the brightest minds in the occupation of human resources disagree on that.

Travel brochures
Includes directions to State Farm offices

In the "benefits" category of the survey, 79 percent of hygienists receive paid vacations. A quarter of them likely spend their time off checking out options with health insurance. Forty-two percent can relax, though, since their health is protected by somebody else's plan, such as a spouse. Only 33 percent participate in a plan provided by their employer.

In the "benefits" category of the survey, 79 percent of hygienists receive paid vacations. A quarter of them likely spend their time off checking out options with health insurance. Forty-two percent can relax, though, since their health is protected by somebody else's plan, such as a spouse. Only 33 percent participate in a plan provided by their employer.

Then there's the continuing-education obligations most hygienists face. Again, dentists and the brightest minds in human resources disagree, but most corporations invest in the training of employees. This investment includes paying the employee's salary during the training, as well as expenses and tuition.

Dentists, though, pay nothing 30 percent of the time, or just the cost of tuition 37 percent of the time. According to the survey, only 22 percent of hygienists work for employers who pay the salary, tuition, and expenses involved with continuing education.

Walter Mitty and Queen Elizabeth
Fantasies and those who disappeared

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Just like James Thurber's Mitty, hygienists can't be blamed for wondering what could have been, in terms of their careers. Dentists do it too, by the way, if you read between the lines of their ranting in journals and seminars.

Just like James Thurber's Mitty, hygienists can't be blamed for wondering what could have been, in terms of their careers. Dentists do it too, by the way, if you read between the lines of their ranting in journals and seminars.

The question was, "If you read about an intriguing career alternative in the business section of tomorrow's newspaper, how seriously would you mull it over?"

Fifty-eight percent of hygienists are so delighted with where they are that they wouldn't give it a second thought. Then there's the 34 percent who fantasize about going "either way" with their careers.

The question now becomes, is there anything we can do to make dental hygiene more intriguing?

As you sift through the state-by-state breakdown of results provided with this article, you'll notice that the responses to the above question don't always add up to 100 percent.

What happened to the others? Raise your arm at a 90-degree angle and rotate your hand — just like Queen Elizabeth does. What you're doing is waving goodbye. That "missing percentage" is for those who have already left the profession, canceled their subscription to RDH, turned out the lights in their operatories, and are now doing something completely unrelated to dentistry.

Ain't that a shame?

A trick question
We duped you into saying a bad thing

Question #19 basically asked you:
• If you think male dentists are sexist and patriarchal
• If you think dentists downplay the value of dental hygienists to American consumers
• If you think dentists view dental hygienists as "cash producers," working merely to improve the practice's bottom line
• If you think dentists are "very supportive and respectful of their hygienists, as well as strong proponents of sound preventive care programs"

The latter, of course, is the only "positive" answer to use in replying to the question. Fifty-four percent answered with the "positive" response. That means the rest of you said a bad thing about your employer.

Did you mean it?

Apparently not.

The next question asked readers to rate employers based on their observations of employers in other industries or professions. Sixty-one percent rate dentists as "above average" as employers. If you throw in the "par for the course" answers (a neutral response), the percentage jumps up to 90 percent.

Message from the marketplace
It's not necessary to bother the doctor; I'm looking for the RDH

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Dental companies typically demonstrate a high level of support for dental hygienists. But which ones are the best? So RDH asked readers to fill in a blank: "Which dental manufacturer impresses you the most for exhibiting the highest level of respect and encouragement toward the dental hygiene profession?"

Fifty-two dental companies received at least one vote, but the top 15 were:
1.) Oral-B/Braun
2.) Procter & Gamble
3.) Hu-Friedy
4.) Colgate-Palmolive
5.) Dentsply
6.) Patterson
7.) Philips (Sonicare)
8.) John O. Butler Co.
9.) Sullivan-Schein
10.) Pfizer (Listerine)
11.) Pro-Dentec
12.) 3M ESPE
13.) Discus Dental
14.) Johnson & Johnson
15.) Young Dental

Yes, RDH is aware that two of the nation's largest dealers (not manufacturers) made the list.

My heroes
Be all you can be as an RDH

Readers were asked, first, if they would support their child's consideration of dental hygiene as a career. The next question asked if they would support the child's consideration of being a dentist. Nationally, 77 percent said they would support a child's consideration of dental hygiene, which can be compared to the 84 percent support of a budding dentist.

I suppose that it is a no-brainer that a slightly higher percentage would support a child's consideration of a career as a dentist. But, you know, I was kind of hoping in my heart of hearts that dental hygienists would show a stronger support of their own profession.

So, my heroes for this salary survey issue are the states where more hygienists would support a career in dental hygiene than as a dentist — Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Go dental hygiene!

Arizona (AZ)

• Who responded — Of the 48 who responded, 51% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 26% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 23% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 72% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 69% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $63,384 (49% earned between $60,000 to $70,000 in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $34.94 ($35 an hour was the most common answer, accounting for 22% of those earning an hourly rate.)

• Average daily rate — $310 ($275 a day was the median, meaning that the average was affected by the highest rate reported — $600.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $120,000, $110,000, and $88,000

• The boss — 46% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002, and an additional 33% gave a raise within the last two years. 43% "never" conduct employee reviews. 38% routinely receive an annual performance review.

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• Benefits — 65% receive paid vacations. 40% work for employers who provide health insurance; 41% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 19% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

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• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 79% support the requirement. 4% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 42% said employer pays tuition only; and 46% said they pay their own costs for CE.

California (CA)

• Who responded — Of the 142 who responded, 30% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 35% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 35% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 68% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 52% work more than 30 hours per week; 44% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $56,078 (33% earned between $45,000 and $63,000 in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $41.58 ($40, $42, or $50 an hour were the most common answers, accounting for 30% of those earning an hourly rate.)

• Average daily rate — $310 ($300, $320, $350, and $400 were the most common answers, accounting for 45% of those earning a daily rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $115,000, $110,000, and $106,000

• The boss — 57% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002, and an additional 30% gave a raise within last two years. 49% "never" conduct employee reviews. The rest were evenly divided between routine annual reviews and "sporadic" reviews.

• Benefits — 55% receive paid vacations. 31% work for employers who provide health insurance; 42% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 27% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 90% support the requirement. 8% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 30% said employer pays tuition only; and 52% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Colorado (CO)

• Who responded — Of the 57 who responded, 30% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 33% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 37% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 67% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 44% work more than 30 hours per week; 54% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $45,012 (The median was a little lower, $43,000; 34% projected 2002 incomes of $50,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $33.12 (The most common rates reported were $33 and $34, accounting for 33% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $256 ($212 was the lowest rate reported; $288 was the highest.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $75,000, $70,000, and $70,000

• The boss — 83% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 23% "never" conduct employee reviews. 54% routinely conduct annual performance reviews.

• Benefits — 84% receive paid vacations. 33% work for employers who provide health insurance; 46% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 21% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is not required for relicensure, but 61% would support such a requirement. 21% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 58% said employer pays tuition only; and 12% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Connecticut (CT)

• Who responded — Of the 32 who responded, 34% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 38% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 28% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 81% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 53% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $46,787 (The median was a little higher, $48,000; the most common projections were $48,000, $50,000, and $52,000, accounting for 42% of the total.)

• Average hourly rate — $29.91 ($30 was the most common rate reported, and $34 was the highest.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $72,000, $72,000, and $70,000

• The boss — 78% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 56% conduct peformance evaluations annually. 16% "never" conduct employee reviews.

• Benefits — 78% receive paid vacations. 31% work for employers who provide health insurance; 50% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 19% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 69% support the requirement. 22% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 31% said employer pays tuition only; and 44% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Florida (FL)

• Who responded — Of the 84 who responded, 37% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 39% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 24% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 89% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 65% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $47,513 (49% earned between $40,000 and $50,000 in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $26.59 ($25 an hour was the most common answer, accounting for 19% of those earning an hourly rate.)

• Average daily rate — $217 ($200 and $225 were the most common answers, accounting for 24% of those earning a daily rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $160,000, $78,000, and $75,000

• The boss — 60% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002, but 21% of the readers indicated they had not received a raise within the last five years. 46% of employers "never" conduct employee reviews. 30% of readers receive a routine annual performance review.

• Benefits — 83% receive paid vacations. 42% work for employers who provide health insurance; 27% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 31% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 82% support the requirement. 14% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 38% said employer pays tuition only; and 40% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Georgia (GA)

• Who responded — Of the 39 who responded, 41% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 38% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 21% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 74% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 54% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $45,636 (The median was $48,000; the average was affected by one reader reporting an annual salary of just under $15,000.)

• Average hourly rate — $29.14 (The high was $37 an hour, and the low was $18 an hour.)

• Average daily rate — $232 ($225 was the median.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $75,000, $70,000, and $68,000

• The boss — 77% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 28% of employers "never" conduct employee reviews. 46% of readers receive a routine annual performance review.

• Benefits — 82% receive paid vacations. 33% work for employers who provide health insurance; 46% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 21% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 77% support the requirement. 28% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 41% said employer pays tuition only; and 21% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Illinois (IL)

• Who responded — Of the 92 who responded, 29% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 52% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 19% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 76% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 58% work more than 30 hours per week; 36 percent work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $41,239 (28% said they earned between $50,000 and $66,000 last year.)

• Average hourly rate — $28.90. (84% said they earn an hourly rate, and 29% earn $31 to $33 an hour.)

• Average daily rate — $250.50 (Only eight readers indicated earnings based on a daily rate).

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $106,000, $105,000, and $90,000

• The boss — 79% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 47% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. The downside is that 33% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 77% receive paid vacations. 28% work for employers who provide health insurance; 47% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 23% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 80% support the requirement. 36% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 28% said employer pays tuition only; and 33% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Indiana (IN)

• Who responded — Of the 37 who responded, 57% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 30% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 14% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 84% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 57% work more than 30 hours per week; 41 percent work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $37,983 (The median was $40,000, which also was the most common answer [14%]. The average was affected by two hygienists with a combined income of $30,700.)

• Average hourly rate — $26.34. (The low was $17.25 an hour; the high was $35 an hour.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $73,000, $60,000, and $55,000

• The boss — 73% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 38% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 32% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 65% receive paid vacations. 30% work for employers who provide health insurance; 40% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 30% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 81% support the requirement. 19% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 41% said employer pays tuition only; and 35% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Iowa (IA)

• Who responded — Of the 24 who responded, 25% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 54% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 21% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 75% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 67% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $40,145 (21% said they earned $40,000 in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $27.74. (The low was $21 an hour; the high was $35 an hour.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $71,000, $55,000, and $53,000

• The boss — 88% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 52% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 30% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 91% receive paid vacations. 21% work for employers who provide health insurance; 42% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 38% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 100% support the requirement. 33% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 29% said employer pays tuition only; and 21% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Kentucky (KY)

• Who responded — Of the 27 who responded, 48% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 33% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 19% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 81% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 70% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $36,610 (The median was a little higher, $38,000; the average was affected by two hygienists with a combined income of $35, 140.)

• Average hourly rate — $23.89. ($25 an hour and $27 were the two most common answers, accounting for 35% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $171 (Only six readers indicated earnings based on a daily rate).

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $52,000, $50,000, and $50,000

• The boss — 52% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 33% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 44% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 81% receive paid vacations. 30% work for employers who provide health insurance; 59% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 11% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 70% support the requirement; 26 percent support making the requirement less stringent. 15% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 22% said employer pays tuition only; and 52% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Maryland (MD)

• Who responded — Of the 33 who responded, 25% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 39% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 36% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 64% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 49% work more than 30 hours per week; 49% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $44,479 (The median was a little lower, $40,000; 39% earned less than $40,000. 36% earned more than $50,000.)

• Average hourly rate — $30 ($30 was also the most common answer, accounting for 28% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $241 (Only 10 readers indicated earnings based on a daily rate).

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $76,000, $73,000, and $73,000

• The boss — 73% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 33% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 33% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 90% receive paid vacations. 25% work for employers who provide health insurance; 50% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 25% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 91% support the requirement. 18% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 33% said employer pays tuition only; and 46% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Massachusetts (MA)

• Who responded — Of the 47 who responded, 35% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 43% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 22% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 93% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 54% work more than 30 hours per week; 43% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $44,563 (The median is $42,000; however, the most common answer was $50,000 [13%].)

• Average hourly rate — $29.74. (The most common answers were $27 an hour and $30 an hour, accounting for 27% of the hourly rates reported.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $70,000, $68,000, and $63,000

• The boss — 67% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 34% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 32% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 94% receive paid vacations. 30% work for employers who provide health insurance; 51% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 19% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 87% support the requirement. 17% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 51% said employer pays tuition only; and 32% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Michigan (MI)

• Who responded — Of the 101 who responded, 44% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 35% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 21% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 93% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 58% work more than 30 hours per week; 37% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $37,067 (The median is slightly higher, $40,000; the average was affected by five readers reporting incomes under $16,000.)

• Average hourly rate — $25.54. (The most common answers were $27 [12%], $25 [11%], and $24 [9%].)

• Average daily rate — $205 (The median was $190.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $66,000, $62,000, and $60,000

• The boss — 64% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 49% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 33% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 84% receive paid vacations. 29% work for employers who provide health insurance; 45% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 26% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 81% support the requirement; 17% believe the requirements should be less stringent. 30% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 34% said employer pays tuition only; and 22% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Minnesota (MN)

• Who responded — Of the 41 who responded, 46% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 37% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 17% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 90% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 66% work more than 30 hours per week; 29% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $44,015 (The median is slightly higher, $48,000. 48% reported earning $50,000 or more in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $28 ($32 an hour was the most common answer, accounting for 15% of the total replies.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $64,000, $62,400, and $62,400

• The boss — 83% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 76% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 20% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 95% receive paid vacations. 32% work for employers who provide health insurance; 36% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 32% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 93% support the requirement. 37% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 42% said employer pays tuition only; and 13% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Missouri (MO)

• Who responded — Of the 34 who responded, 38% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 50% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 12% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 76% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 71% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $42,672 (47% earned between $40,000 and $50,000.)

• Average hourly rate — $26.95 ($28 an hour was the most common answer, accounting for 27% of the total replies.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $76,000, and $70,000

• The boss — 74% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 39% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 46% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 74% receive paid vacations. 47% work for employers who provide health insurance; 47% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 6% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 77% support the requirement. 24% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 35% said employer pays tuition only; and 24% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Nebraska (NB)

• Who responded — Of the 21 who responded, 33% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 38% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 29% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 62% earned a bachelor's degree in preparation for licensure. 52% work more than 30 hours per week; 38% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $42,981 (62% earned $40,000 or more in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $25.16 (Outside of one reader reporting a rate of $10 an hour, the range was from $22 to $33 an hour.)

bull; The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $72,000, $72,000, and $64,000

• The boss — 67% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 29% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 52% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 57% receive paid vacations. 19% work for employers who provide health insurance; 62% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 19% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 91% support the requirement. 33% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 29% said employer pays tuition only; and 24% said they pay their own costs for CE.

New Hampshire (NH)

• Who responded — Of the 22 who responded, 23% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 41% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 36% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 77% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 73% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $48,486 (The median was a little lower, $46,000; 73% earned $40,000 or more in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $28.06 ($21 an hour was the low rate, and $32 an hour was the high rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $64,000, and $62,000

• The boss — 77% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 55% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 18% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 77% receive paid vacations. 36% work for employers who provide health insurance; 55% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 9% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 96% support the requirement. 27% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 41% said employer pays tuition only; and 5% said they pay their own costs for CE.

New Jersey (NJ)

• Who responded — Of the 55 who responded, 24% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 47% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 29% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 89% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 42% work more than 30 hours per week; 51% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $42,381 (65% earned $40,000 or more in 2002.)

7bull; Average hourly rate — $31.27 ($30, $34, and $35 were the most common rates reported, accounting for 34% of the total.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $67,000, and $65,000

• The boss — 64% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 22% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 55% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 79% receive paid vacations. 40% work for employers who provide health insurance; 36% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 24% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 86% support the requirement. 22% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 40% said employer pays tuition only; and 36% said they pay their own costs for CE.

New York (NY)

• Who responded — Of the 109 who responded, 25% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 31% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 44% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 93% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 56% work more than 30 hours per week; 40% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $38,832 (New York is an unusual state, probably because of the presence of New York City on the edge of a large rural area. 26% make less than $30,000; 27% earned more than $50,000. The median was $40,000, and the remaining 47% fell into the range of $30,000 to $49,999.)

• Average hourly rate — $26.13 (The median was $28. 30% reported rates of $30 an hour or higher; 19% reported rates of $21 to $22.50.)

• Average daily rate — $237 (Only 12% of readers reported earning income according to a daily rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $80,000, and $72,000

• The boss — 69% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 32% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 44% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 80% receive paid vacations. 28% work for employers who provide health insurance; 45% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 27% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 70% support the requirement; 20% believe the requirements should be less stringent. 21% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 28% said employer pays tuition only; and 44% said they pay their own costs for CE.

North Carolina (NC)

• Who responded — Of the 62 who responded, 39% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 34% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 27% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 77% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 68% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $43,250 (54% earned between $40,000 and $50,000.)

• Average hourly rate — $28.40 (the low was $23 an hour, and the high was $35 an hour.)

• Average daily rate — $205 (The most common answer was $200 [29%].)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $75,000, and $68,000

• The boss — 75% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 52% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 15% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 90% receive paid vacations. 53% work for employers who provide health insurance; 29% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 18% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 92% support the requirement. 18% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 42% said employer pays tuition only; and 13% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Ohio (OH)

• Who responded — Of the 99 who responded, 37% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 35% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 28% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 72% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 60% work more than 30 hours per week; 35% work 12 to 20 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $38,030 (26% earned less than $30,000; 20% earned $50,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $25.82 (the median was $29; the average was affected by the 7% who earned less than $20 an hour.)

• Average daily rate — $216 (The highest rate was $280; the lowest rate was $170.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $77,000, $73,000, and $69,000

• The boss — 70% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 45% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 36% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 81% receive paid vacations. 27% work for employers who provide health insurance; 46% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 26% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 89% support the requirement. 27% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 31% said employer pays tuition only; and 29% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Oregon (OR)

• Who responded — Of the 35 who responded, 29% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 46% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 25% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 57% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 63% work more than 30 hours per week; 31% work 12 to 20 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $46,799 (The median was $50,000; three readers reported a combined income of $47,000, affecting the average.)

• Average hourly rate — $31.60 (36% reported rates ranging from $31 to $33.25.)

• Average daily rate — $267 (Only 14% reported earning income based on a daily rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $70,000, and $65,000

• The boss — 69% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 54% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 37% "never" conduct performance reviews.

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• Benefits — 77% receive paid vacations. 53% work for employers who provide health insurance; 29% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 18% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

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• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 91% support the requirement. 9% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 66% said employer pays tuition only; and 14% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Pennsylvania (PA)

• Who responded — Of the 72 who responded, 42% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 33% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 25% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 72% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 60% work more than 30 hours per week; 39% work 12 to 20 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $36,298 (27% earned less than $30,000 in 2002; 14% earned $50,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $24.37 ($22, $25, and $29 were the most common rates reported, accounting for 25% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $193 (Only 7% reported earning income based on a daily rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $55,000, $52,000, and $52,000

• The boss — 74% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 39% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 44% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 82% receive paid vacations. 46% work for employers who provide health insurance; 33% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 21% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 81% support the requirement; 15% support making the requirements less stringent. 25% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 49% said employer pays tuition only; and 19% said they pay their own costs for CE.

South Carolina (SC)

• Who responded — Of the 24 who responded, 58% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 21% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 21% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 88% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 71% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $41,200 (The median was a little lower, $40,000 — which was also the most common answer [25%].)

• Average hourly rate — $24.03 ($25 was the most common rate reported [44%].)

• Average daily rate — $181 ($177 was the median.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $67,000, $60,000, and $51,000

• The boss — 65% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 50% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 29% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 83% receive paid vacations. 38% work for employers who provide health insurance; 54% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 8% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 79% support the requirement. 39% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 22% said employer pays tuition only; and 9% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Tennessee (TN)

• Who responded — Of the 32 who responded, 44% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 41% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 15% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 88% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 66% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $38,583 (45% reported incomes of $40,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $26.16 (Only 19% reported income based on an hourly rate.)

• Average daily rate — $202 ($155 was the lowest rate, while $260 was the highest rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $61,000, $60,000, and $57,000

• The boss — 65% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 42% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 39% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 81% receive paid vacations. 31% work for employers who provide health insurance; 45% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 25% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 91% support the requirement. 25% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 41% said employer pays tuition only; and 13% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Texas (TX)

• Who responded — Of the 81 who responded, 38% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 33% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 29% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 74% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 65% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $46,503 (The median is $47,000; 44% reported incomes of $50,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $30.76 (The most common rates reported were $30 and $32, accounting for 31% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $236 ($143 was the lowest rate, while $450 was the highest rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $118,000, $88,000, and $77,000

• The boss — 51% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002; 20% have not offered a raise within the last five-year period. 30% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 42% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 79% receive paid vacations. 23% work for employers who provide health insurance; 41% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 23% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 86% support the requirement. 23% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 36% said employer pays tuition only; and 27% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Virginia (VA)

• Who responded — Of the 53 who responded, 23% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 45% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 32% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 54% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 68% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $47,152 (42% estimated incomes at $50,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $30.30 (The most common rates reported were $30, $32, and $38, accounting for 31% of the total.)

• Average daily rate — $248 ($175 was the lowest rate, while $320 was the highest rate.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000, $79,000, and $79,000

• The boss — 81% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 43% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 32% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 79% receive paid vacations. 21% work for employers who provide health insurance; 54% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 25% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 81% support the requirement. 17% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 40% said employer pays tuition only; and 36% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Washington (WA)

• Who responded — Of the 51 who responded, 28% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 37% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 35% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 51% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 49% work more than 30 hours per week; 49% work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $52,370 (The median is a little lower, 50,000; however, 60% projected incomes greater than $50,000, and 33% projected incomes greater than $60,000 — not bad, when you consider half the workforce works part-time.)

• Average hourly rate — $37.22 (The most common rates reported were $35, $38, $40, and $42, accounting for 43% of the total.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $90,000, $83,000, and $80,000

• The boss — 61% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 39% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 39% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 80% receive paid vacations. 51% work for employers who provide health insurance; 31% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 18% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 92% support the requirement. 28% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 45% said employer pays tuition only; and 14% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Wisconsin (WI)

• Who responded — Of the 78 who responded, 46% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, 41% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years, and 13% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 77% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 60% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $39,404 (The median was a little higher, 40,000; in fact, $40,000 and $45,000 were the two most common answers, accounting for 24% of the total.)

• Average hourly rate — $25.06 (The most common rates reported were $24, $25.50, and $26, accounting for 37% of the total.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $63,000, $60,000, and $59,000

• The boss — 91% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 62% routinely offer yearly performance reviews. 17% "never" conduct performance reviews.

• Benefits — 91% receive paid vacations. 30% work for employers who provide health insurance; 39% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 31% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is not required for relicensure, but 74% would support such a requirement. 42% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 31% said employer pays tuition only; and 12% said they pay their own costs for CE.

New England (NE)(includes Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

• Who responded — Of the 34 who responded, 17 were from Maine, 10 were from Vermont, and seven were from Rhode Island. 32% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 44% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 24% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 94% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 62% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $34,910 (The median was a little higher, $35,500; 42% projected income of $40,000 or more.)

• Average hourly rate — $23.95 (The most common rates reported were $23 and $25, accounting for 32% of the total.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $47,000 (Maine), $47,000 (Rhode Island), and $44,000 (Rhode Island)

• The boss — 68% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 35% "never" conduct employee reviews. 44% receive an annual performance review.

• Benefits — 85% receive paid vacations. 33% work for employers who provide health insurance; 46% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 21% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 85% support the requirement. 9% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 27% said employer pays tuition only; and 27% said they pay their own costs for CE.

The Beltway (BW)(includes Delaware, District of Columbia, and West Virginia)

• Who responded — Of the 22 who responded, 12 were from West Virginia, seven were from Delaware, and three were from Washington, D.C. 36% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 32% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 32% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 77% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 68% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $37,019 (The average for West Virginia was $24,925; the average for the other 10 readers was $46,122 — quite a difference.)

• Average hourly rate — $23.76 (Again, the average for West Virginia is $22.50; for everyone else, it's $28.16.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $65,000 (Washington, D.C.), $60,000 (Delaware), and $50,000 (Delaware/Washington D.C.)

• The boss — 59% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 41% "never" conduct employee reviews. 50% receive an annual performance review.

• Benefits — 96% receive paid vacations. 40% work for employers who provide health insurance; 46% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 14% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 77% support the requirement. 18% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 68% said employer pays tuition only; and 5% said they pay their own costs for CE.

South (SO)(includes Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi)

• Who responded — Of the 48 who responded, 18 were from Alabama, 15 were from Louisiana, nine were from Arkansas, and six were from Mississippi. 52% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 25% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 23% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 38% earned a bachelor's degree in preparation for licensure; the rest were evenly divided by recipients of associate's degrees and graduates of the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program (preceptorship). 71% work more than 30 hours per week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $37,409 (Alabama — infamous for its "preceptorship" program — profoundly influenced the average. 74% of the hygienists in the lower half of the pay scale were from Alabama. If you deduct Alabama from the equation, the average annual income for the other states is $49,039.)

• Average hourly rate — $18.14 (Again, the survey was influenced by Alabama, which has an average hourly rate of $14.63.)

• Average daily rate — $199 (Since a "daily rate" appears to be uncommon in Alabama, this figure is the average for the other three states.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $80,000 (Arkansas), $68,000 (Arkansas), and $60,000 (Louisiana)

• The boss — 68% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 50% "never" conduct employee reviews. 31% receive an annual performance review.

• Benefits — 75% receive paid vacations. 27% work for employers who provide health insurance; 33% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 40% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 94% support the requirement. 19% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 25% said employer pays tuition only; and 29% said they pay their own costs for CE.

Lower Plains (LP)

(includes Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma)

n Who responded — Of the 38 who responded, 15 were from Kansas, 12 were from Oklahoma, and 11 were from New Mexico. 32% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 36% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 32% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 55% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 55% work more than 30 hours per week.

n Average estimate for 2002 income — $43,237 (The median was quite a bit lower, $36,000; the average was affected by two readers projecting incomes of $100,000 in 2002.)

n Average hourly rate — $29.81 (In Oklahoma, the average rate was $31.13, $30.79 in New Mexico. The $28.69 average in Kansas was the lowest for the region.)

n Average daily rate — $251 (The average in New Mexico is $275; the average in Oklahoma is $258; and the average in Kansas is $217.)

n The three highest estimates for 2002 income — $100,000 (Kansas), $100,000 (Oklahoma), and $70,000 (Kansas)

n The boss — 65% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002. 42% "never" conduct employee reviews. 34% receive an annual performance review.

n Benefits — 76% receive paid vacations. 24% work for employers who provide health insurance; 47% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 29% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

n Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 95% support the requirement. 11% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 45% said employer pays tuition only; and 32% said they pay their own costs.

Northern Mountains (NM)(includes Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyomi

• Who responded — Of the 65 who responded, 19 were from Nevada, 14 were from Utah, 12 were from Idaho, seven were from Montana, seven were from North Dakota, four were from South Dakota, and two were from Wyoming. 42% have been licensed for fewer than 10 years; 38% have been licensed for 11 to 25 years; and 20% have been licensed for more than 25 years. 63% earned an associate's degree in preparation for licensure. 52% work more than 30 hours per week; 48 percent work 12 to 30 hours a week.

• Average estimate for 2002 income — $43,793 (30% earned between $40,000 and $50,000 in 2002.)

• Average hourly rate — $29.65 (30% earned $27 to $30 an hour.)

• Average daily rate — $280 (The median is $250; the average was influenced by one Nevada hygienist earning $450 and a Utah hygienist earning $485 a day.)

• The three highest estimates for 2002 income —$95,000, $80,000, and $75,000 - all from Nevada

• The boss — 52% of employers gave RDH readers a raise in the 12 months prior to August 2002; however, 20% answered "within last five years" or that they have not received one. 44% "never" conduct employee reviews — compared to the 31% who receive an annual performance review.

• Benefits — 73% receive paid vacations. 38% work for employers who provide health insurance; 37% are covered by someone else's health plan, such as a spouse; and 25% are not covered by any type of health insurance.

• Continuing education — Is required for relicensure, and 95% support the requirement. 27% said employer pays tuition, expenses, and salary during CE; 24% said employer pays tuition only; and 43% said they pay their own costs for CE.

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