Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in Lancaster, California
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for dental laboratory technicians in the Lancaster, California area. There are currently 5,900 jobs for dental laboratory technicians in California and this is projected to grow 14% to about 6,700 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental laboratory technicians are expected to grow by about 13.9%. In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
Dental laboratory technicians earn approximately $18 per hour or $37,900 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,170 yearly. Dental laboratory technicians earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental generally in California and more than people in the Medical and Dental category nationally.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Lancaster where you can study to be a dental laboratory technician, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Lancaster area. The most common level of education for dental laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a dental laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Laboratory Technician
In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
Dental laboratory technicians read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed. They also test appliances for conformance to given requirements and precision of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers. Finally, dental laboratory technicians fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth.
Every day, dental laboratory technicians are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.
It is important for dental laboratory technicians to melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes, and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to fashion dental prostheses or apparatus. They are often called upon to remove excess metal or porcelain, and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines. They also place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to review functionality of model. They are sometimes expected to develop a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set. Somewhat less frequently, dental laboratory technicians are also expected to read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed.
Dental laboratory technicians sometimes are asked to fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins. They also have to be able to fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth and shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools. And finally, they sometimes have to ready wax bite-blocks and impression trays for use.
Like many other jobs, dental laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lancaster include:
- Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician. Cut, grind, and polish eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other precision optical elements. Assemble and mount lenses into frames or process other optical elements.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training
Pasadena City College - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena City College, 1570 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106-2003. Pasadena City College is a large college located in Pasadena, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,453 students. Pasadena City College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated fourteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has an associate's degree program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.
ICDC College - Los Angeles, CA
ICDC College, 5422 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. ICDC College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,750 students. ICDC College has a less than one year program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.
Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.
For more information, see the National Board for Certification - National Association of Dental Laboratories website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Lancaster, California
Lancaster is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 145,469, which has grown by 22.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lancaster, 130, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Lancaster cost $144,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Lancaster, down from eight hundred six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Lancaster are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 15.8% of Lancaster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Lancaster is 17.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Lancaster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.
Lancaster is home to the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter Number 5 and the Lancaster City Hall as well as Mays Field and Mariposa Park. Shopping centers in the area include Antelope Valley Center Shopping Center, Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center and West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Lancaster can choose from Best Western Antelope Valley I, Aloha Motel and Bonaire Motel for temporary stays in the area.