To work as a dental laboratory technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some dental laboratory technicians complete a formal training program. Programs are available through professional-technical schools and two-year colleges. In these programs you study dental materials science and oral anatomy. You learn how to build dentures and other dental appliances. Even if you complete a formal training program, employers may provide additional on-the-job training.
A few programs take four years to complete and grant a bachelor's degree.
Most dental laboratory technicians learn their skills on the job. In this case, you learn from an experienced technician. You begin with simple tasks such as pouring molds. Eventually you learn to build crowns and bridges. On-the-job training lasts up to a year.
Some branches of the military train people to be dental laboratory technicians. Training lasts from 21 to 26 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.