The Press Enterprise - Business section featured a article on Pro-Craft Dental Lab.
Pro-Craft Dental in Murrieta sees school in future, adding more technicians as business grows
BY CAROL PARK / CORRESPONDENT - Published: Oct. 2, 2011 11:29 p.m.
"If there was enough interest and we could get 10 to 15 students, we would start a class," Schubert added. Interested students would be tested on dexterity and recommended to a trade school. Or if demand is good enough, Pro-Craft will train students itself, Schubert said.
"The profession is very attractive for people who like to work with their hands," Schubert added. "Dental technicians can make a good wage; we do financially well for an artisan trade.â Pro-Craft employs 15 dental technicians. Median hourly wages for dental laboratory technicians in California is $17.80. Wages can cap out at $23.49 an hour.
Demand for dental technicians is on the rise. The state will average 140 annual openings for dental technician jobs, according to the California Employment Development Department. By 2018, about 4,900 dental technicians will be employed in the state.
"I've been doing this for three years," said Nick Ortiz, a dental technician at Pro-Craft. "It pays well and I like the creative aspect; this will be what Iâll do for the next 40 years or until I can't do it anymore." For owner Greg Schubert, creating dental products has been a life-long career.
"In 1979 my dad took me to a friend who had a dental lab,â Schubert recalled. âI was right out of high school."
That friend offered Schubert a job if he agreed to go to dental technician school.
"It was a good fit," Schubert said. "I just grew up from there."
At first, Schubert started out in his garage. As business picked up, he started a dental lab in Orange County with a partner in 1982. A few years later, they moved to Corona. Then in 2006, Schubert decided to move to Murrieta and start his own lab in part because he wanted to be closer to home.
Schubert's brother, Scott, has also been in the family business for years. Scott Schubert is an account manager and handles sales for Pro-Craft.
"I've followed Greg [Schubert] over the years," said Shaun Doyle, Pro-Craft general manager. "Greg is laid back and a very good guy."
When Greg Schubert started Pro-Craft in Murrieta, he could not keep Doyle as an employee.
So Doyle worked for a lab in Riverside. When Schubert's business grew, he called Doyle and hired him back.
"This is a good profession, it's very artistic,â Doyle said. "Even though it can be stressful at times " with the fast turnaround and time limit " I'll do this for the rest of my life."
Despite competition from offshore dental labs, business at Pro-Craft has been robust. Demand from the baby boomer generation, word-of-mouth advertising and direct mailers has kept the Murrieta lab bustling. Same-day service and new products, like all zirconia crowns, have also helped boost sales at Pro-Craft. Recently, Pro-Craft's delivery car " a 2002 Corolla " reached 400,000 miles.
âWhat's helped us grow is our diversification and offering new products,â Scott Schubert said. "If the economy is slow here, we go to other areas of the country; we don't keep all our eggs in one basket."
Out-of-state customers include dentists in New England, New York, Georgia and Massachusetts.
"When Greg came to Murrieta, he wanted to do things differently," Scott Schubert said. âIn the last five years, we've doubled in size."
(09/26/2011, FREE-LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER, Carol Park / Special to The Press-Enterprise)