Dental Laboratory Technology
In the Dental Laboratory Technology program at Texas State Technical College Harlingen, students will learn to work with special wires, plaster, porcelain, wax, acrylics and different metal alloys. They will make dentures and partial dentures, fixed and removable, porcelain crowns or bridges and orthodontic appliances. Upon graduation they will be able to work in small and large commercial dental laboratories, dental clinics, or, after four years and national certification, they can operate their own business.
The Dental Laboratory Technology program is special in nature because the students are working with many different dental materials. They learn how to use them and make them do what they want. The students learn to give form to the different tooth anatomical shapes and colors as well as arrangements. Working as a dental technician is both a science and an art.
Dental Laboratory Technology has a unique dual track program where a student can enter the degree or certificate options. Both are six semesters in length. The job outlook for dental laboratory technicians is very good and will continue to get better in the future. There are only two dental laboratory programs in Texas, and graduates of these programs are employed throughout the entire state. The opportunities for advancement are many, and once on the job, the technician can advance to department head, manager, or become self-employed. Salaries vary depending on experience, geographic area, and area of specialization. Starting salaries vary from $14,000-$30,000 annually. With experience, annual salaries can approach $100,000. A lab owner's income is limited only by how much work he or she is willing or able to handle.
English and math courses are a plus for entering students. They will help you to succeed in the curriculum's support courses. Art courses could be very helpful to develop good manual dexterity.