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Occupational Profile

Dental Technologist

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

  • Avg. Salary $52,155.00
  • Avg. Wage $26.35
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 1,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Dental Laboratory Technologist, Laboratory Technician/Technologist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

32%
32%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Dental Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Dental Technologists and Technicians
NOC code: 3223.1
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

When dental professionals prescribe dental appliances and devices for patients, dental technologists are the ones who actually build the appliances and devices. Technologists use ceramics, metal alloys and plastics to recreate the appearance of natural teeth for fixed restorations, and various wires and plastic materials to construct dentures and orthodontic appliances. Dental Technologists often work with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided machining (CAM) systems to design and construct dental appliances and devices.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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

Dental technologists spend most of their day sitting at a laboratory bench while focusing on fine detailed work and must observe safety precautions when working with potentially hazardous materials. They may be required 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 the following characteristics:

  • a high degree of manual dexterity
  • an aptitude for fine mechanical work
  • the ability to visualize in three dimensions
  • artistic ability combined with an aptitude for engineering
  • stong computer skills
  • patience and the ability to concentrate and pay attention to fine detail
  • initiative and the ability to meet deadlines
  • good communication and interpersonal skills.

They should enjoy analyzing prescriptions and taking a methodical approach to their work, working with tools and equipment at tasks that require precision, and finding solutions to problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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

 

Dental technologists also are required to have certificates 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.

Education

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 find more information on the certification process for internationally trained dental technologists and technicians, see Dental Technologist/Technician Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

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

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Registered dental technologists may be self-employed or employed in specialized laboratories. For self-employed laboratory owners, success is dependent on personal initiative as well as technical skill. 

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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 1,600 Albertans are employed in the  Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory bench workers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.4% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 38 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As cdental technologists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for dental technologists.

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

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
NOC code: 3223

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 $13.00 $26.92 $19.93 $19.00
Overall $18.00 $30.61 $26.35 $28.62
Top $19.23 $54.33 $32.52 $33.84

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Manufacturing
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

32%
32%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

70%
70%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

2015 Vacancy Rate

3%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
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: www.cdta.ca

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jan 13, 2014. 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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