Besides working in a clinical job, dentists can venture into other high-paying non-clinical jobs. For most non-clinical dental jobs, you will only need the experience and skills from your dental career, but you need additional education for others.
Whether you are looking to leave clinical practice or you want a part-time job to supplement your income, there are numerous non-clinical jobs for dentists that are very rewarding.
Before you decide to make the switch, take time to review your objectives to make it easier to find a suitable job.
Top 10 non-clinical jobs for dentists
Here are some of the best non-clinical careers for dentists that you can consider:
1. Dental hygienist
A dental hygienist works in a dental office as opposed to a clinic. In this job, your work will be to collect patients’ dental and medical histories, take dental X-rays, chart dental conditions, educate children and adults about the importance of oral hygiene and perform routine dental cleanings.
You will also be required to carry out some dental procedures, including giving local anesthesia, applying fissure sealants for tooth protection, and sterilizing dental instruments.
To get a job in this field, you need to have a degree in oral health science, dental hygiene, therapy, and a state license. On top of that, you need to be knowledgeable about dental hygiene and the general principles of dentistry.
The average salary per year for a dental hygienist is $61,884, but you can make $82k.
2. Dental office manager
A dental office manager is in charge of the day-to-day operations of a dental firm or office. As a dental office manager, your tasks will include creating staff schedules, overseeing employees, and ensuring the facility runs smoothly.
You will also work closely with patients to handle complaints, help them schedule appointments and advise them on billing and insurance coverage. You will need dental qualifications and experience, and office management certification for this job. You will also be required to have excellent communication and organizational skills.
As a dental office manager, you can earn up to $70k annually; the average salary is $52,295.
3. Dental health policy analyst
A dental health policy analyst is one of the most lucrative non-clinical careers for dentists. If you are passionate about research, you can combine your dental practice skills and venture into this field. As a dental health policy analyst, you will primarily work for the government, nonprofit organizations, and community groups to help policy development.
Your job will involve researching, analyzing, and reviewing literature and evidence-based practices for application to the dental health benefits policy. Your work will also include developing new benefits and updating current ones for quality assurance purposes.
A background in medical policy analysis, a degree in dentistry or nursing, and relevant work experience are necessary for this job. You also need to have skills in project planning and implementation and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
The average yearly wage for a dental health policy analyst is $63,674
4. Medical-legal consultant
Medical-legal consultants help bridge the gap between the field of medicine and legal professionals, mainly during a malpractice suit. If you venture into this career, you will work with lawyers, judges, and other law professionals to decipher medical terminologies used in insurance fraud, torts, and personal injury cases.
You will be responsible for gathering and studying medical reports and statements and comparing them to the allegations. Sometimes, you will be required to determine signs of malpractice or tampering on medical charts.
You can get into this career by starting as a claims handler and learning the ropes as you go, but you can also choose to study a diploma in medical law as ethics on top of your degree.
The average salary of a medical-legal consultant is $80,718 per year, and you can easily make up to $100k.
5. Dental hygienist correctional facility
As a dental hygienist working in a correctional facility, you will be responsible for examining and cleaning inmates’ teeth in a jail or prison. You will also perform diagnostic duties, take x-rays of the patient’s mouth, educate inmates on oral hygiene and care and provide treatment for gum and teeth conditions. Sometimes, you will need to help the dentist as they carry out procedures.
The job may involve traveling to different locations to help inmates, or you may be stationed at a single facility. For this job, you will need a degree in dental hygiene, a state license, and be willing to work in prison.
The average yearly remuneration for dental hygienists in a correctional facility is $77,810.
6. Dental transition specialist
A dental transition specialist works with business people who own dental practices to help them buy, sell, lease or relocate their business. You will also help others set up their business by providing the needed data, knowledge, and expertise.
As a specialist, you will prepare clients who are fresh from dental school to start a dental practice and assist dentists in setting up their offices. This career is gratifying for someone who still wants to be in the dental field with more flexibility.
It would help if you had a dentistry degree and relevant experience in sales and business development for this job. The average annual salary for a dental transition specialist is $57,439
7. Dental chart review consultant
A dental chart review consultant’s job involves reviewing medical records and patient healthcare information. As a dental chart review consultant, your work will include determining the necessity of diagnosis-related dental procedures, defining the level of care, and assessing discharge procedures.
You will use data and charts to document the use of specialists and resources to provide dental services. You need a degree in dentistry and a state license for this job. You also need to be proficient in analyzing electronic medical records and medical coding. Excellent communication skills and attention to detail will also come in handy for this role.
As a dental chart review consultant, you can earn up to $85,570 per year.
8. Forensic dentistry
Have you always been interested in criminal justice cases? You could easily get into forensic dentistry or odontology as a career if yes. This field involves handling, examining, and evaluating dental evidence in criminal justice cases.
Just like the medical-legal career, you will also work closely with law professionals to help them solve cases using any available dental evidence. For this career, you will need to partake in an odontology training program either at the University of Texas or a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture College of Veterinary Medicine.
The average annual wage for forensic science technicians (including dentists) is $61,930.
9. Dental claims analyst
A dental claims analyst works for an insurance firm, and their primary role is to review and research all incoming dental claims from members and service providers such as dentists. You will use multiple platforms and computer systems to verify, negotiate, process, and adjust claims.
You may also need to identify trends, provide necessary reports, verify pricing, and confirm prior authorizations before processing them for payments.
To qualify for a job as a dental claims analyst, you need to have a degree in dentistry and at least one year of experience in processing medical or dental prescription claims. Computer literacy and knowledge of medical systems are also a plus
The average salary for a dental claims analyst is $55283 per year
10. Dental researcher
Dental researchers play a major role in improving the public’s oral health. As a dental researcher, you will run lots of experiments on sample teeth and look at the chemical composition of dental products to make sure they are safe to use.
A career as a dental researcher is very rewarding, especially if you are passionate about using science to improve human health. The best part about this high-paying non-clinical job for dentists is that you can pursue it part-time while still working as a clinical dentist to keep your skills up to date.
To start as a dental researcher, you need a degree in dentistry, a state license, and about two years of experience as a research assistant. You can start researching at the national institute of health once you have your license.
On average, dental researchers make $75,712 per year in the United States
FAQs about non-clinical jobs for dentists
Here are some of the frequent questions regarding non-clinical jobs for dentists:
1. What is a non-clinical career?
Non-clinical jobs are those that do not involve any medical testing or treatment. You may interact with patients when working but you do not provide medical care.
2. Where do dentists make the most money?
The highest paying dental specialty job is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a median annual net income of $400,000.
Being a dentist is one of the best careers because it has an excellent work-life balance, a low unemployment rate, and a comfortable income. If you are looking to grow your career in a non-clinical dental job, you have many options.