Dental and Ophthalmic Medical Technician Career

dental-technician-500Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are responsible for the construction, maintaining and repairing of a variety of medical supports for their patients. Dental laboratory technicians could see supports such as dentures, bridges, crowns and veneers. The technicians perform a range of tasks to fill the order prescribed by the doctors. This could include anything from creating mold of the patient’s teeth using plaster, wax, porcelain and metal to the actual building of a prosthetic tooth.

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians, also known as optical mechanics, are accountable for devices prescribed by the doctors to help increase the patient’s vision. These devices include corrective lenses and contacts. In many cases, technicians will use specialized automated equipment to create the prescription lenses. Although some practices still produce them by hand. Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians will sometimes produce telescopes and binoculars as well.

Dental and Ophthalmic Medical Technician Career Snapshot

Most Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians work in specialized laboratories. Due to this, they have little to no actual contact with the patients, but work very closely with the doctors instead.

Further details on a career as a dental and ophthalmic medical tech are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for dental and ophthalmic medical technicians.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma or equivalent while 30% have a Post-secondary certificate.

Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Tech Education

The typical education of a Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician is a high school diploma (or equivalent) at about 43%. Thirty percent of the working technicians have a post-secondary certificate; while 13% hold an associate’s degree. Each state may require different certifications and continuing education obligations for laboratories employing Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians.

Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Tech Job Duties

Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians are tasked with creating the proper medical device prescribed by the doctors. Doctors will spend a specific prescription for their patient to the laboratory where the laboratory technicians will follow a detailed list of steps to create the final product.

Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Tech Salaries

In 2015, the estimated that the median pay for Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians was about $33,950. The highest 10% may see an annual wage around $59,170, and the lowest 10% around $21,410. Wages are often determined by experience and education, as well as the state in which they are employed.

Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Tech Job Outlook

From 2014 to 2024, the employment of Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians is expected to grow about 10%. This rate is faster than average for all other occupations due partly to the fact of some medical supports declining in cost as well as the increase in demand from the baby-boomer community.

Dental and Ophthalmic Medical Technician Skills & Traits

Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Tech Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Dental & Ophthalmic Medical Techs:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Service Orientation
• Social Perceptiveness
• Speaking
• Coordination
• Near Vision
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Problem Sensitivity
• Speech Clarity
• Exophthalmometers
• Eye charts or vision cards
• Ophthalmic lensometers
• Opticians tools or accessories
• Ultrasonic examination equipment
• Getting Information
• Documenting Information
• Caring for Others
• Communicating with Others
• Using Relevant Knowledge

Related Careers

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Associate’s Degree

Opticians, Dispensing

High School Diploma or Equivalent

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