Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
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Dental Laboratory Technicians
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Overview
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Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair medical appliances and devices.
Titles for this career often contain these words
DentalTechnicianLaboratoryDentureLabOrthodonticCeramistBridgeCrownApplianceAssistantMakerTechFinisherMechanicWaxerMetalModelPorcelainFixerRepairerEquipmentInstallerServicerInstrumentApprenticeWorkerMoldManagerTechnologistTechnologyAdvisorContourWireSpecialistDenturesRoomDyePersonOrthoBandOrthoticProsthetic
Education
Only 16% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Dental laboratory technicians, with 36,500 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for dental laboratory technicians are expected to grow by 11%, and should have about 5,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Dental laboratory technicians are more likely to be automated than 91% of other careers.
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Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 63% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for dental laboratory technicians. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most dental laboratory technicians.
This job's median $40KAll jobs' median $39K$39K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 51% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians -- that's a larger percentage than 65% of other jobs.
Gender of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, the median men's salary was 25% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 21% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians are minority, and 21% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (21%)
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Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Dental Laboratory Technicians per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 35% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, and 45% have company-sponsored health insurance (21% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
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Injury and Illness
About 6 dental laboratory technicians become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, which reflects fewer events than in 94% of other careers.
All injuries and illnesses
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of dental laboratory technicians who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (98%)
  • Time Pressure (92%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (74%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (70%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (68%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (61%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (32%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, which combines the data for 3 careers, including dental laboratory technicians. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for dental laboratory technicians, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for dental laboratory technicians compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for dental laboratory technicians (BLS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where dental laboratory technicians work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians (ACS)
Private for-profit (82.1%)
Private not-for-profit (3.3%)
Local government (0.5%)
State government (0.7%)
Federal government (4.5%)
Self-employed incorporated (5.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (3.8%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, which combines the 3 specialties for this career.
$36K$35K$43K$47K$41K$45K$35K$41K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of dental laboratory technicians by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty dental laboratory technicians, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$40K$60K$40K$46K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? This first chart suggests how much this job rewards experience with increased salaries.

Now let's dive a little deeper. Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$41K$22K$37K$41K$30K$42K$43K$34K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
02K4K6K8K10KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and gender

With 51% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 65% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
51%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
Men (49%)
Women (51%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 21%, and the difference for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians tops that, with the median salary for men 25% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$33K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians have one of the higher percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job even higher than that for 71% of other jobs.

25%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
White (74% )
Asian (10% )
Black (8% )
Other (5% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
21%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
21%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$32K$32K$33K$36K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KBlackOtherMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians by nativity
$36K$38K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Part-time/Full-time
Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 16% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 62% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians is shown following.

$20K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by dental laboratory technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dental laboratory technicians typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians.

Education attained by medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for dental laboratory technicians

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. There are some postsecondary programs in dental laboratory technology at community colleges or technical or vocational schools that award an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate. High school students interested in becoming dental or ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians should take courses in science, human anatomy, math, computer programming, and art.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for dental laboratory technicians

Certification is not required for dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians. However, technicians may choose to earn specialty certifications because they show professional competence in a specialized field.

The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology offers certification as a Certified Dental Technician (CDT). Certification is available in six specialty areas: orthodontics, crown and bridge, complete dentures, partial dentures, implants, and ceramics.

To qualify for the CDT, technicians must have at least 5 years of on-the-job training or experience in dental technology or have graduated from an accredited dental laboratory technician program. Candidates also must pass three exams within a period of 4 years.

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics offers certification for orthotic and/or prosthetic technicians. Technicians are eligible for the certification exam after completing an accredited program or if they have 2 years of experience as a technician under the direct supervision of a certified orthotist or prosthetist or O&P technician.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians? Below we see the distribution of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$28K$35K$36K$39K$37K$37K$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (5%)High School (31%)Some College (31%)Associate's Degree (17%)Bachelor's Degree (14%)Master's Degree (2%)Professional Deg/Doct (1%)
Certificate/Associate's degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician
291
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians

What jobs will most medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory techniciansHealth Practitioner Support Technologists and TechniciansDental assistantsOpticiansManagers (specialized areas)Engineering techniciansMedical assistantsProduction workersClinical laboratory technologists and techniciansAssemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)Retail salespersons
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians as well as 1% of respondents after working as medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Medical assistants
99,700
$0$200K$30K
Managers (specialized areas)
93,700
$0$200K$73K
Health Practitioner Support Technologists and Technicians
76,700
$0$200K$33K
Dental assistants
44,800
$0$200K$31K
Engineering technicians
44,600
$0$200K$55K
Production workers
35,800
$0$200K$32K
Opticians
6,600
$0$200K$38K
Assemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)
2,700
$0$200K$31K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Waiters and waitresses
539,000
$0$200K$21K
1.9%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
380,700
$0$200K$37K
1.4%
Receptionists and information clerks
157,900
$0$200K$27K
1.5%
Medical assistants
99,700
$0$200K$30K
1.8%
Managers (specialized areas)
93,700
$0$200K$73K
2.1%
Health Practitioner Support Technologists and Technicians
76,700
$0$200K$33K
2.3%
Dental assistants
44,800
$0$200K$31K
6.0%
Engineering technicians
44,600
$0$200K$55K
3.4%
Production workers
35,800
$0$200K$32K
1.3%
Health Technologists and Technicians
13,300
$0$200K$41K
2.0%
Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers
11,900
$0$200K$44K
1.1%
Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians
11,400
$0$200K$36K
44.3%
Opticians
6,600
$0$200K$38K
3.0%
Assemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)
2,700
$0$200K$31K
4.1%
No occupation
6.8%
Read about dental laboratory technicians
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians typically do the following:

  • Follow detailed work orders and prescriptions
  • Determine which materials and tools will be needed
  • Bend, form, and shape fabric or material
  • Polish and shape appliances and devices, using hand or power tools
  • Adjust appliances or devices to allow for a more natural look or to improve function
  • Inspect the final product for quality and accuracy
  • Repair damaged appliances and devices

In small laboratories and offices, technicians may handle every phase of production. In larger ones, technicians may be responsible for only one phase of production, such as polishing, measuring, or testing.

Dental laboratory technicians use traditional or digital impressions or molds of a patient’s teeth to create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental appliances. They work closely with dentists, but have limited contact with patients.

Dental laboratory technicians work with small hand tools, such as files and polishers. They work with many different materials, including wax, alloy, ceramic, plastic, and porcelain, to make prosthetic appliances. In some cases, technicians use computer programs or three-dimensional printers to create appliances or to get impressions sent from a dentist’s office.

Dental laboratory technicians can specialize in one or more of the following: orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, implants, or ceramics. Technicians may have different job titles, depending on their specialty. For example, technicians who make ceramic restorations such as veneers and bridges, are called dental ceramists.

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are also commonly known as manufacturing opticians or optical mechanics.

Although they make some lenses by hand, ophthalmic laboratory technicians often use automated equipment. Some technicians manufacture lenses for optical instruments, such as telescopes and binoculars. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians should not be confused with dispensing opticians, who work with customers to select eyewear and may prepare work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians.

Medical appliance technicians construct, fit, and repair medical supportive devices, including arch supports, facial parts, and foot and leg braces.

Medical appliance technicians use many different types of materials, such as metal, plastic, and leather, to create a variety of medical devices for patients who need them because of a birth defect, an accident, disease, amputation, or the effects of aging. For example, some medical appliance technicians make hearing aids.

Orthotic and prosthetic technicians, also called O&P technicians, are medical appliance technicians who create orthoses (braces, supports, and other devices) and prostheses (replacement limbs and facial parts). These technicians work closely with orthotists or prosthetists.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of dental laboratory technicians? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Detail oriented
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians must pay attention to detail. Technicians must follow work orders and prescriptions accurately and precisely. In addition, they need to be able to recognize and correct any imperfections in their work.
Dexterity
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians must work well with their hands because they use precise instruments.
Interpersonal skills
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians need to be able to work effectively with others because they may be part of a team of technicians working on a single project. In addition, they need good communication skills to ensure safety when they work with hazardous materials.
Technical skills
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians need to have an in-depth knowledge of how different tools and materials work. They also must understand how to operate complex machinery. Some procedures are automated, so technicians must know how to operate and change the programs that run the machinery.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for dental laboratory technicians
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 63% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for dental laboratory technicians. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $40KAll jobs' median $39K$41K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for dental laboratory technicians are anticipated to grow by 11% over the next decade; only 12% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for dental laboratory technicians is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030020,00040,00060,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most dental laboratory technicians? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as dental laboratory technicians. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Dental Laboratory Technicians per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.6
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where dental laboratory technicians earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Dental Laboratory Technicians (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which dental laboratory technicians earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
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