Although a dental laboratory technician usually does not work with patients except under the direct supervision of a dentist, this person is still a valuable part of the team that helps people have beautiful smiles. These technicians create full dentures, fixed bridges, crowns, veneers and oral braces to replace, improve or straighten teeth.
These additions must be both visually attractive and functional, so a successful technician knows how to strike a balance between the artistic and scientific elements of the job. People who want roles that offer more direct patient interaction may be good future candidates for dental assistant jobs
Because most dental laboratory technicians learn their skills on the job, there are few formal educational requirements for this career. However, a high school diploma is usually required.
Some technical and community colleges offer courses for aspiring dental laboratory technicians, but those educational opportunities are uncommon. In some cases, people may take dental receptionist jobs before becoming dental laboratory technicians, especially if they just want to start networking in the industry.
Dental Laboratory Technician Job Market
Through the year 2022, analysts believe job opportunities will increase by 7 percent. Although this is slower than the average across all occupations, there will be a consistent need for the kinds of skills a dental laboratory technician has. For example, as the cost of dental prosthetics decreases, demand should go up. Furthermore, poor oral health maintenance practices and accidents that affect the mouth are two other factors that could theoretically create jobs for dental laboratory technicians. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1,000 new jobs to be created in this field through 2022, creating a total workforce of 40,000 people.
Dental Laboratory Technician Job Salary Information
The average salary for this position is just over $36,000. Most people in this role work full time, although overtime is rare.