Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in New Orleans, Louisiana
Dental laboratory technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. Currently, 780 people work as dental laboratory technicians in Louisiana. This is expected to grow 20% to 930 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dental laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
Dental laboratory technicians earn approximately $13 hourly or $28,720 yearly on average in Louisiana. Nationally they average about $16 per hour or $34,170 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental, people working as dental laboratory technicians in Louisiana earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental nationally.
The New Orleans area is home to thirty-two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can get a degree as a dental laboratory technician. The most common level of education for dental laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans - New Orleans, LA
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans, 433 Bolivar St, New Orleans, LA 70112-2223. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,432 students. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated five and seven students respectively 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: New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.
The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.