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Dental Technologist

Dental technologists make dental appliances and devices such as crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures and orthodontic appliances for damaged, lost or irregular teeth.

  • Avg. Salary $54,251.00
  • Avg. Wage $26.69
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Dental Laboratory Technologist, Laboratory Technician/Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Dental Technologists and Technicians (3223.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers (D223) 
  • 2011 NOC: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants (3223) 
  • 2016 NOC: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants (3223) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

21%
21%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Dental Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Dental Technologists and Technicians
METHODICAL

Interest in analyzing prescriptions to make and repair dentures and other dental devices; may perform supervisory and administrative functions for dental laboratories

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to shape various substances into plates, clasps, bands, inlays, onlays, implants and bridgework; may train other dental technicians and dental laboratory bench workers

INNOVATIVE

Interest in designing, fabricating and fitting dentures and dental devices; may consult with dentists or other specialists on problematic dental cases

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Dental technologists build the appliances and devices dentists prescribe for their patients. They use ceramics, metal alloys, wires and plastic materials, along with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided machining (CAM) systems in their work.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most dental technologists work standard weekday hours in laboratories and dental offices. Some labs require them to work rotating shifts.

Dental technologists spend most of their day sitting in a lab focused on finely detailed work. They must follow safety guidelines when working with materials that could be hazardous. They may have to handle items that weigh up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Dental technologists need to possess:

  • fine motor skills
  • a talent for detailed mechanical work
  • the ability to visualize in three dimensions
  • artistic ability and an aptitude for engineering
  • strong computer skills
  • patience and the ability to concentrate on fine details
  • initiative and the ability to meet deadlines
  • strong communication and people skills.

They should enjoy studying prescriptions and taking a step-by-step approach to their work. They should also enjoy working with tools and equipment, tasks that require precision, and problem solving.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is a 2-year diploma program in dental technology.

 

Dental technologists must also be certified in Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers, including CPR training.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Dental Technologist and Technician

Dental technologists and technicians fabricate, duplicate, alter and repair prosthetic and orthodontic devices, and fit devices (when fitting is incidental to fabrication, duplication, alteration or repair).

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Dental Technologists Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Dental Technologists of Alberta (CDTA) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, manufacture dental appliances, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves Dental Technologists or Dental Technicians.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved two year program of studies and (2) an approved examination. Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time also may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CDTA website or contact the CDTA.

Working in Alberta

Dental technologists and technicians who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To learn about certification for internationally educated dental technologists and technicians, see Dental Technologist/Technician Registration Process.

Contact Details

College of Dental Technologists of Alberta
#7, 9343 - 50 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6B 2L5
Phone number: 780-469-0615
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-537-0568
Fax number: 780-469-1340
Website: www.cdta.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Registered dental technologists may be self-employed or employed in specialized labs. For self-employed laboratory owners, success depends on personal drive and technical ability.

Dental technologists are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory bench workers. In Alberta, 99% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the D223: Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.4% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 38 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.50 $34.62 $19.76 $19.00
Overall $17.60 $38.92 $26.69 $25.81
Top $19.23 $57.47 $39.22 $38.46

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

21%
21%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

College of Dental Technologists of Alberta (CDTA) website: cdta.ca 

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: hsaa.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 15, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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