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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.

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) 
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

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
  • 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.

Traits & Skills
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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants
NOC code: 3223

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 61 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and May 27, 2022.

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.
Design, fabricate or repair dental devices
Area of Specialization: Ceramic or porcelain application
Area of Specialization: Crowns and bridges
Area of Specialization: Partial dentures
Area of Specialization: Full dentures
Maintain and order supplies
Technical Expertise (dental): Polishing
Area of Specialization: Gold dies and goldwork
Area of Specialization: Chrome castings
Personal Suitability: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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.

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 Dec 14, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

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.

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

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 3223: Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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.

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
$26.69
Per Hour
Average Salary
$54,251.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.3
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 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
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.

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
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

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

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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