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This Is How Much You’ll Earn as a Dental Laboratory Technician


Being a dental lab tech is a great job, but how much green do you get for making pearly whites?

Being a dental laboratory technician means that you’re part engineer, part caregiver, and part artist. Among other essential responsibilities, you make new teeth. People can smile, talk, and chew things with confidence because of the bridges, crowns, and dentures that you craft for them. So you’ll leave work every day knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life; even better, your compensation will be satisfying to boot.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for dental laboratory technicians is $37,190. But there’s more to it than just that one figure. Depending on where you are, you can potentially make even more.

Related resource: What Does a Dental Laboratory Technician Do?

Highest paying cities for DLTs

If you’re a dental lab tech moving to upstate New York or just outside Boston, you’re in luck; the Northeast seems to put a very high value on having a full set of teeth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks the highest paying urban areas for DLTs as:

  • Rochester, NY; $62,740
  • Nassau County/Suffolk County, NY; $56,330
  • Boston/Cambridge/Newton, MA; $53,720

Jacksonville, Corpus Christi, and Greenville also boast comparatively high DLT salaries, for those of you inclined to move southward.

Related resource: Here’s a Look at Some of the Latest Dental Lab Technology

Highest paying rural areas for DLTs

Of course, rural areas need dentures and crowns, too. The highest paying non-urban areas for DLTs are:

  • Southern Vermont; $47,420
  • West Central Illinois; $46,240
  • Northern Indiana; $43,850

Among the rural crowd, Virginia and Idaho also rank fairly high. As with any list comparing salaries in different regions, cost of living always has to be taken into account. If you’re considering moving to Vermont just for the salary, for instance, watch out. According to Career Trends, Vermont has the fifth highest cost of living in the U.S. Their cost of living is 19 percent higher than the national average. Illinois’ is only 4 percent higher. That $46,240 could go further in the Land of Lincoln than the slightly higher salary up in Freedom and Unity country.

Related resource: Why Creative People Make Great Dental Lab Technicians

DLT job outlook

New dental technology for crowns, bridges, and dentures is getting better and less expensive all the time. Lower costs mean that more people are able to replace their natural teeth with artificial ones. That means more demand for the work that DLTs do. Additionally, the next generation of DLTs will have an opportunity to use all kinds of tools once unimaginable to previous generations. We’re far past the age of just re-implanting old teeth into living jaws. Our world is one of CAD, 3D printing, and laser sculpting. All of those technologies can make for better, more artful, more amazing teeth. Teeth you will make.

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, which span the decade from 2014 to 2024, predict a 10 percent increase in employment for DLTs, a much faster rate of growth than other occupations. So, for DLTs, the future looks bright. As bright as the smiles they’ll help create!

Do you think you might enjoy a career as a dental lab tech? Take a moment today to learn more about Utah’s only accredited dental laboratory technician program, and keep in touch with the Ameritech community on Facebook.