Orthodontist Tech Degrees by Degree Program Level

An Associate of Applied Science in Dental Laboratory Technology gives students the chance to work as orthodontist techs. Students will learn how to make orthodontic appliances through hands-on training.

Essential Information

An Associate of Applied Science in Dental Laboratory Technology degree program combines general education courses with focused studies in dental technology and hands-on training in a laboratory setting. Programs should be recognized by the National Board of Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC). You'll need to be a high school graduate or get a GED diploma to be accepted into a community or junior college. Many schools require students demonstrate competency in non-remedial college-level subjects, including reading, science and mathematics.

Associate Degrees in Dental Laboratory Technology

Courses will cover the general skills needed to work as a dental laboratory technician. Common course topics include:

  • Dental materials
  • Anatomy of the mouth and teeth
  • Dental occlusions
  • Bridgework
  • Metallurgy for dental technicians
  • Dental ceramics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a dental laboratory technician, as of May 2015, was $37,190 ( Job opportunities may have faster-than-average growth for the decade 2014-2024, according to BLS predictions.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education

Graduates of NBC-approved dental technology programs who know English, have graduated from high school or have a GED, and have behaved ethically are eligible to take an exam administered by the NBC. Orthodontics is one of the five areas covered on the test. Successful completion results in a Recent Graduate (RG) certificate.

Professionals may then become a Certified Dental Technician candidate. Over a 4-year period, they must complete a comprehensive test on all areas of dental technology, a practical test in the orthodontic specialty, and a written test on orthodontics.

Students who want to pursue a career as an orthodontist tech typically earn an associate's degree. After a student has successfully completed a program, he or she is eligible to become certified.

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