Dental devices such as dentures, crowns and bridges are produced by denture technicians, also known as dental laboratory technicians, who receive prescriptions from dentists on behalf of their patients. The salary these techs earn will vary depending on the industry and location in which they work, as well as their level of experience and certification.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that there are no formal education or training requirements for denture technicians outside of possessing a high school diploma. On-the-job training is typical; however, formal training resulting in a certificate or associate's degree is available through universities, community colleges, vocational schools and the Armed Forces, and accredited by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE).
The average salary for denture technicians in the U.S. is $37,690, or an hourly rate of $18.12, according to the BLS as of 2009. The median salary is $34,820, with techs in the 10th percentile earning $21,370 and those in the 90th percentile earning $58,390.
The BLS reported that 33,620 dental technicians were employed in 2009 in the industry of medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, making it the industry with the highest level of employment for this occupation. The average salary for these techs was $37,510 annually, similar to that of techs that worked in the offices of dentists, who earned $37,130. Denture technicians working for the federal executive branch earn the highest wages in their profession at $53,090 annually on average, followed by those employed by colleges, universities and professional schools at $44,270.
Likely due to the federal executive branch offering the highest wages for denture technicians, Washington D.C. is listed as the top-paying state for this occupation at an average annual salary of $62,840. Alaska is second on the list at $54,790 annually, followed by Montana, Massachusetts and Minnesota with salary averages ranging from $46,800 to $52,420. Topeka, Kansas, is listed as the highest-paying metropolitan area for dental technicians with an average annual salary of $55,490.