High-Demand Careers: Dental Assistant & Hygienist

High-Demand Careers: Dental Assistant & Hygienist

Fall 2014

| By: Britten, Casey

For one FVTC grad, the path to a rewarding career as a dental hygienist started with training as an assistant.

Katarina Auler always knew she wanted a career in the dental field. After touring Fox Valley Technical College as a student at Oshkosh West High School, she was sold. “I enrolled in Fox Valley Tech’s Dental Assistant program to get started on my dental education,” recalls the 26-year-old. “I loved it!”

After completing the program, Auler began working as a dental assistant. Shortly afterward she was accepted into FVTC’s Dental Hygienist program. “I was able to work in the field while taking classes to advance my career,” she says. “And, because I could keep my job while in school, I could pay for my classes as I took them.”

Today, Auler works as a dental hygienist for Bellevue Family Dentistry near Green Bay—three days a week as a hygienist and two days as a dental assistant. “Taking both programs was a great career path for me,” she says. “I get to do it all.”

As a dental hygienist, Auler gets to know her patients. She finds it especially rewarding when they come back for return visits and she sees their improvements. “I feel I am making a small difference in their lives,” she says. “As a hygienist, I can talk to them about overall health matters, as well as their oral health.”

Auler still keeps in professional contact with her FVTC dental instructors. “The instructors are all professional hygienists themselves, and they encourage you to do your best,” she states. “To this day, I feel they are standing by my side. I still email them when I have questions. I’m happy as a dental hygienist, and they certainly played a major role in helping me get here.”

Quick Facts:

92% job placement for graduates of both FVTC’s Dental Assistant & Dental Hygienist programs over the past two years. FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2013 & 2014

$53,000 average annual salary for graduates of FVTC’s Dental Hygienist program six months after graduation. FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Report, 2013