What Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians Do
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair appliances and devices, including dentures, eyeglasses, and prosthetics.
Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians often work in laboratories. Most technicians work full time.
How to Become a Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician or Medical Appliance Technician
Dental or ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training.
Employment of dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As cosmetic prosthetics, such as veneers and crowns, become less expensive, there should be an increase in demand for these appliances. In addition, the aging baby-boomer population will spur demand for orthotic devices, such as braces and orthopedic footwear, because older people tend to need these supportive devices.
Job Trends for Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians
This occupation supported 82,900 jobs in 2012 and 83,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 0.7%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.8% in 2022 to 88,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 84,000, compared with an observed value of 83,500, 0.6% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 10.5% in 2024 to 92,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 89,600 jobs for 2024, 2.8% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.