Medical

Dental technician

Dental technicians design, make and repair the dental appliances used for improving patients' appearance, speech or ability to eat.

Annual Salary

£24,907 to £44,503

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Dental technician jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your tasks will depend on your specialism and could include:

  • orthodontics - you will create plastic or metal devices, such as braces to straighten teeth
  • crown and bridge work - you will make items to cement in place
  • prosthetics - you will produce plastic dentures or implants

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a laboratory.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You could do a foundation degree or degree in dental technology approved by the General Dental Council.

You're likely to need a degree qualification to do advanced dental technology work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You can do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dental Technology, approved by the General Dental Council.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a higher apprenticeship as a dental technician.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You can work as a trainee dental technician with a practice and study part-time. This could take up to 5 years, depending on which qualification you do.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Dental Technologists Association, for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can get more details about how to become a dental technician from Health Careers.

You could train as a healthcare scientist, specialising in reconstructive sciences, like maxillo-facial prosthetics through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

With experience you could set up your own laboratory, or work abroad.

In a commercial lab, you could become a senior or chief technician. Or you could move into quality control, sales or management. You could also become a teacher.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • the ability to work well with others
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
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