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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in Fort Wayne, Indiana

For those living in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, there are many career and education opportunities for dental laboratory technicians. Currently, 1,550 people work as dental laboratory technicians in Indiana. This is expected to grow 19% to 1,830 people 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%. Dental laboratory technicians generally construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

A person working as a dental laboratory technician can expect to earn about $16 hourly or $33,420 annually on average in Indiana and about $16 per hour or $34,170 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for dental laboratory technicians are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental in Indiana, and better than the overall Medical and Dental category nationally.

There are sixteen schools of higher education in the Fort Wayne area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Wayne where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental laboratory technician. 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

Dental Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training

Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne - Fort Wayne, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne, 2101 E Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499. Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne is a large university located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,338 students and an admission rate of 96%. Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne has an associate's degree program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana photo by FTSKfan

Fort Wayne is located in Allen County, Indiana. It has a population of over 215,661. The cost of living index in Fort Wayne, 77, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Wayne are valued at $141,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-eight new homes were constructed in Fort Wayne, down from one hundred seventy-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Wayne are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and metal and metal products. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.4% of Fort Wayne residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Wayne is 10.5%, which is greater than Indiana's average of 9.4%.

The percentage of Fort Wayne residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Memorial Church, Bethany Church and Souls Harbor Church are some of the churches located in Fort Wayne. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Wayne is home to the Orchard Ridge Country Club and the Georgetown Square as well as Swinney Park and Rockhill Park. Shopping centers in the area include The Uncommons Shopping Center, Decatur Road Shopping Center and Ayr-Way West Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Wayne can choose from Days Inn Airport Plaza, Purofirst of Allen County and Hometown Inn for temporary stays in the area.