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Dental Laboratory Technician

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What You Need to Know About Dental Laboratory Technician

Position Description Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

A Day in the Life of a Dental Laboratory Technician

  • Load newly constructed teeth into porcelain furnaces to bake the porcelain onto the metal framework.
  • Place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient’s jaw to evaluate functionality of model.
  • Build and shape wax teeth, using small hand instruments and information from observations or dentists’ specifications.
  • Fabricate, alter, or repair dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.
  • Apply porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.
  • Prepare wax bite blocks and impression trays for use.

Skills Needed to be a Dental Laboratory Technician

When polled, Dental Laboratory Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Dental Laboratory Technician Jobs

  • Bridge Technician
  • Dental Appliance Fixer
  • Crown and Bridge Technician
  • Dental Laboratory Technician (Dental Lab Tech)
  • Dental Instrument Maker

Dental Laboratory Technician Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 38,100 jobs for Dental Laboratory Technician in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,500 new jobs for Dental Laboratory Technician by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,000 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Dental Laboratory Technician are Utah, Michigan, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Missouri, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Dental Laboratory Technician

The salary for Dental Laboratory Technicians ranges between about $25,320 and $64,180 a year.

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Dental Laboratory Technicians who work in Alaska, Virginia, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

How much do Dental Laboratory Technicians make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $36,540
Alaska $57,940
Arizona $45,240
Arkansas $39,260
California $43,340
Colorado $47,210
Connecticut $49,880
Florida $41,110
Georgia $43,420
Hawaii $39,850
Idaho $45,920
Illinois $41,800
Indiana $38,990
Iowa $42,740
Kansas $48,000
Kentucky $44,720
Louisiana $37,920
Maine $42,910
Maryland $39,180
Massachusetts $45,650
Michigan $41,310
Minnesota $44,670
Mississippi $46,430
Missouri $40,850
Montana $51,200
Nebraska $48,640
Nevada $42,080
New Hampshire $41,320
New Jersey $42,610
New Mexico $38,390
New York $50,250
North Carolina $43,190
North Dakota $39,540
Ohio $43,400
Oklahoma $42,900
Oregon $40,080
Pennsylvania $40,210
Rhode Island $44,570
South Carolina $45,560
South Dakota $32,790
Tennessee $41,660
Texas $41,840
Utah $47,780
Virginia $52,220
Washington $43,710
West Virginia $39,530
Wisconsin $39,960

What Tools do Dental Laboratory Technicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dental Laboratory Technicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Scheduling software
  • Graphics software
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • Inventory management software
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Database management software
  • CAD/CAM
  • Computer imaging software

How do I Become a Dental Laboratory Technician?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Dental Laboratory Technician?

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What work experience do I need to become a Dental Laboratory Technician?

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Where Dental Laboratory Technicians Are Employed

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Below are examples of industries where Dental Laboratory Technicians work:

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Dental Laboratory Technician may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Dental Laboratory Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Sgt. Dallas Edwards via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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