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
- 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 (www.bls.gov). 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.