2023 Job Market & Employment Survey

CDHA Job Market and Employment Survey

In spring 2023, CDHA conducted its biennial compensation survey with practising dental hygienist members. The main objectives were to gauge employment trends in Canada and collect and analyse data on key aspects of the profession. The survey was administered through a contracted third party to ensure confidentiality and privacy of responses.

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All reports are available free to CDHA members. Interested non-members may download the executive summary only or request a copy of the full report by contacting info@cdha.ca. (Fee may apply)

The response rate to the 2023 Job Market and Employment Survey was strong at 22% (3,840 responses). The survey was sent out to 17,438 CDHA members as students and retired members were excluded from the survey.

Highlights of the Report

  • The average effective hourly wage of dental hygienists across all provinces and territories continues the trend of increasing slightly each year since 2013
  • Dental hygiene baccalaureate degree holders report higher average wages
  • The unemployment rate for dental hygienists remained at 1%, which is well below the current Canadian unemployment rate of 5.2% as of May 2023
  • 91% of all dental hygiene jobs are in clinical dental hygiene; 76% work for a single employer
  • 87% of dental hygienists receive employee benefits
  • 91% of respondents have decision-making authority over implementing dental hygiene services
  • Respondents working in specialty practices work most often in periodontics (38%) and orthodontics (37%)
  • Independent dental hygiene practice owners continue to report high levels of satisfaction

Impact of COVID-19

  • Only 1% of respondents are on leave because of the pandemic
  • 8% of respondents leaving the profession within the next two years are leaving because of the impact of the pandemic on workplace satisfaction
  • For independent practice owners in business before March 2020, just under half reported an increase in their hours worked and just over half reported an increase in gross revenue post-pandemic

Challenges We Face

  • Only 59% of respondents have a written contract with their employer, and only 45% have a regular performance review
  • 1 out of 4 dental hygienists report being on leave because of disability.
  • There is an increasing trend towards interprofessional collaboration, yet the majority of dental hygienists report that they have the least influence over making referrals to other health professionals

The Future

  • 49% of respondents plan to practice more than 10 years in the profession
  • Among those who plan to stay longer than two years in the profession, the top preferred work setting continues to be clinical practice (76%), followed by community health or public health, government (37%), and educational institution (31%)