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Dental Technologist

Dental technologists make dental appliances and devices such as crowns, bridges, dentures, partial dentures, and orthodontic appliances. They create these to replace damaged, lost, or irregular teeth.

Also Known As

Dental Laboratory Technician / Technologist, Laboratory Technician / Technologist, Registered Dental Technician, Registered Dental Technologist, RDT, DT

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

  • 3223.1: Dental Technologists and Technicians

2006 NOC-S

  • D223: Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Bench Workers

2011 NOC

  • 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

2016 NOC

  • 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

2021 NOC

  • 32112: Dental technologists and technicians

2023 OaSIS

  • 32112.00: Dental technologists and technicians
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dental Technologists and Technicians

2006 NOC: 3223.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Dental technologists need:

  • Fine motor skills
  • The ability to perform detailed mechanical work
  • The ability to visualize in 3 dimensions
  • Artistic ability and an aptitude for engineering
  • Computer skills
  • Patience and the ability to concentrate on fine details
  • Initiative
  • The ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong communication and people skills

They should enjoy:

  • Following prescriptions and instructions
  • Taking a step-by-step approach to their work
  • Working with tools and equipment
  • Performing precision tasks
  • Solving problems

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

2016 NOC: 3223

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 105 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 01, 2022 and May 23, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Polish and buff dentures
Tasks: Prepare plaster models and moulds
Tasks: Mould wax over dentures set-up
Tasks: Pack plastic material in moulds to form full or partial dentures
Tasks: Design, fabricate or repair dental devices
Tasks: Prepare wax bite-blocks and impression trays
Tasks: Cast gold or metal alloys for bridges and denture bases
Tasks: Maintain and order supplies
Tasks: Finish metal framework of dentures
Ceramic or porcelain application
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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


Required Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Dental Technologist and Technician

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

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf], Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation [pdf], and Dental Technologists Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College of Dental Technologists of Alberta (CDTA) is mandatory. Only registered members may provide restricted activities specified in the Regulations. This includes those who:

  • Meet the requirements for registration and provide professional services directly to the public
  • Manufacture dental appliances
  • Teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession
  • Supervise registered members who provide services to the public
  • Use the titles and initials: dental technologist, registered dental technologist, RDT, dental technician, registered dental technician, or DT

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Dental Technologist and Technician.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants occupational group, 95.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 5 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

2016 NOC: 3223
Average Wage
$25.34
Per Hour
Average Salary
$51,500.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3223 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $23.38 $18.02 $17.00
Overall $17.28 $29.39 $25.34 $25.00
Top $24.65 $57.70 $40.66 $40.38

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
41%
41%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
34%
34%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
8%
8%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2024

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

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

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2024. 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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