Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in Norman, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental laboratory technicians. There are currently 620 jobs for dental laboratory technicians in Oklahoma and this is projected to grow 13% to 700 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for dental laboratory technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.9% over the next eight years. Dental laboratory technicians generally construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
Dental laboratory technicians earn approximately $14 hourly or $29,540 per year on average in Oklahoma. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,170 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental, people working as dental laboratory technicians in Oklahoma earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental nationally.
The Norman area is home to thirty-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Norman where you can get a degree as a dental laboratory technician. Given that the most common education level 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.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Norman include:
- Medical Appliance Technician. Construct, fit, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, artificial limbs, and other surgical and medical appliances.
- Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training
Moore Norman Technology Center - Norman, OK
Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, OK 73069-8399. Moore Norman Technology Center is a small school located in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 857 students and an admission rate of 61%. Moore Norman Technology Center has a one to two year program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated seven 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: Norman, Oklahoma
Norman is located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 106,957, which has grown by 11.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Norman, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Norman are priced at $184,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixteen new homes were built in Norman, up from four hundred nineteen the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Norman are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.8% of Norman residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Norman is 4.7%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.
The percentage of Norman residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Alameda Baptist Church, Alameda Church of Christ and All Welcome Victory Church are among the churches located in Norman. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Norman is home to the Cerebral Palsy Institute and the Park on Main as well as Owen Field and Rotary Park. Shopping malls in the area include Colonial Estates Shopping Center, Anatole Shopping Center and Carriage Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Norman can choose from Ramada Days Inn, Montford Inn and Guest Inn - Norman for temporary stays in the area.