Dental technicians make orthodontic appliances and dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridgework and dentures to a dentist's specifications. They work with a digital impression or a mould of a patient's mouth. They learn the trade of dental laboratory technician by beginning as assistants and taking on-the-job training or through study programmes at colleges and vocational schools. The Bureau of Labor expects about 14 per cent growth in jobs for dental technicians between 2008 and 2018. (See Reference 1.)
Average Yearly Wages
The Bureau of Labor's most recent statistics as of May 2009 show an average or mean annual wage of £24,498 for dental laboratory technicians nationally. This figure represents an average hourly wage of £11.70 for 2,080 hours per year. The number of workers in this field stood at 40,480 at the time of the survey.
Range of Wages Nationally
The Bureau of Labor shows a nearly threefold difference between the highest and lowest earning workers. The lowest 10 per cent in earnings took home £13,890 annually. The highest 10 per cent took home £37,953. All statistics date from the latest survey of May 2009.
Wages in High-Employment Industries
By far the largest number of technicians work in a manufacturing or laboratory setting. At survey time, 33,620 worked in this capacity for an average annual wage of £24,381. The next largest number, 5,580, worked in dentists' offices, earning an average of £24,134 per year.
Highest-Paying Industries for Technicians
The industries with the highest-paying jobs have relatively few positions for dental technicians. The Federal Executive Branch, by far the best-paying employer in 2009, had only 540 dental technicians and paid an average of £34,508 per year. The next highest-paying employers were universities and colleges, employing only 140 technicians at £28,775 annually.
Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas - USA
In certain metropolitan areas, dental technicians averaged over £32,500 per year, although the number of jobs was small. In Topeka, Kansas, technicians averaged £36,062 per year, while in Anchorage, Alaska, they averaged £35,659. The technicians in the Riverside-San Bernardino and Ontario area of California averaged £33,663. This area had 100 jobs, the most in this group of high-paying cities. The greater Framingham, Maine, area and the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York area both had an average annual wage over £33,150 for dental technicians.
High-Paying States and District - USA
Dental technicians earn higher wages in certain states and the District of Columbia. The D.C. area had the highest average pay in 2009 at an annual salary of £40,846. Alaska came next at £35,613. However, those areas had fewer than 100 jobs each. States with high wages for dental technicians and more jobs include Massachusetts, which had over 800 jobs and annual pay of £30,634, and Minnesota, which had nearly 1,200 jobs and annual pay of £30,420.