How Much Does a Dental Lab Tech Make?

The median annual wage for dental laboratory technicians was $38,630 in May 2019. Dental lab techs with the most experience and training can earn much more.

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Dental Lab Tech Salaries

Dental lab technicians are responsible for fabricating dental prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges, and implants, according to a dentist’s specifications. They use a variety of tools and techniques to create these prosthetics. The average salary for a dental lab tech is $52,000 per year.

National Salary Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for dental lab technicians was $37,880 in 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,430, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,040.

Dental lab technicians in the following industries had the highest median annual salaries in 2018:

-Offices of dentists: $39,290
-Medical and diagnostic laboratories: $38,860
-Offices of other health practitioners: $38,250
-Employment services: $37,660

Salary by State

Dental laboratory technicians in the united states make a median yearly salary of $37,040, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016.

However, salaries for dental lab techs can vary widely from state to state and city to city. For example, a dental lab tech in California may earn an annual mean wage of $48,930, while one working in Texas may make $39,290.

Other factors that may affect dental lab technician salaries include experience levels, certifications and education.

Dental Lab tech job Outlook

The median annual wage for dental laboratory technicians was $37,780 in May 2019, which is higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $38,640. Employment of dental laboratory technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The aging population will need more dental care, and as a result, there will be an increased demand for dental laboratory technicians to make dental prosthetics.

Job Growth by State

As a dental lab technician, you can choose to work in any state in the country. Your job prospects will be best in states with the highest employment levels for dental lab technicians. These states are:

New York

Top Paying States

Location is a important factor when considering a career as a dental laboratory technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five states with the highest employment level in this occupation are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. The states with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients are Rhode Island, south carolina District of Columbia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

The top paying states for dental laboratory technicians according to May 2019 BLS data are as follows. Nevada leads the way with an annual mean wage of $64,280 for these professionals, followed by Rhode Island at $56,390 per year. These figures are much higher than the national annual mean wage of $42,490 for dental laboratory technicians.

Top Paying States for Dental Laboratory Technicians:
-Nevada: $64,280
-Rhode Island: $56,390
-Connecticut: $54,950
-Alaska: $52,860
-New Hampshire: $51,470

Dental Lab Tech Career Paths

Dental lab techs are in high demand due to the current shortage of qualified technicians. Many techs start their careers in entry-level positions and then move up into management or sales roles. Some techs may also choose to open their own dental labs. In this article, we’ll explore the different career paths available to dental lab techs.

Education and Training

There are many ways to become a dental laboratory technician. Some technicians learn their skills through on-the-job training, while others complete formal education programs. Many technicians have prior experience as dental assistants or in other administrative roles within dental offices.

The American Dental Association (ADA) Committee on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits more than 300 education programs for dental laboratory technicians across the United States. Many of these programs last one year and lead to a certificate or diploma, but some schools offer associate’s or even bachelor’s degrees in dental laboratory technology.

Most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited program, but it is not always required. On-the-job training is typically provided for entry-level positions, but it may be beneficial to have some formal education in the field before beginning training.


While certification is not required to work as a dental lab technician, it may improve your employment prospects. Employers often prefer to hire certified technicians, and certification may be required for certain positions. The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology offers the Certified Dental Technician (CDT) credential. To earn this credential, you must have at least two years of experience as a full-time dental lab technician and pass a written exam.

Advancement Opportunities

As a dental lab technician, you will have the opportunity to specialize in a certain area of dental lab technology. You could become a ceramist, who creates custom dental prosthetics from porcelain; a dental technician, who makes partial or full dentures; an orthodontic technician, who fabricates braces; or a maxillofacial prosthetic technician, who makes artificial eyes, ears, and other facial prosthetics. As you gain experience and knowledge in your chosen specialty, you may be able to advance to a supervisory or management position within your dental lab. Some technicians also choose to open their own labs.

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