Best Paying Jobs in Medical/Dental Instruments

Updated on February 1, 2024

The medical and dental instruments sector offers a variety of high-paying careers for those interested in contributing to healthcare through technology and patient care. This blog post explores the top ten jobs in this field, highlighting their responsibilities, average salaries, job descriptions, and required education.


Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal diseases and the placement of dental implants. They play a crucial role in maintaining oral health by addressing severe gum diseases and conditions that general dentists may not handle.

  • Average Salary: $184,977.
  • Responsibilities: Diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases, placing dental implants, and performing surgical procedures to maintain oral health.
  • Required Education: A Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree, followed by specialized training in periodontology.


Dentists are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral diseases and conditions. They perform a range of procedures to care for their patients’ teeth and gums, from routine cleanings to more complex surgeries.

  • Average Salary: $172,535.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting oral examinations, filling cavities, performing root canals, and prescribing medications for dental issues.
  • Required Education: A DDS or DMD degree, along with licensure in the state where they practice.


Chiropractors focus on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders, primarily through manual adjustment or manipulation of the spine. They aim to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients.

  • Average Salary: $158,539.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting spinal adjustments, providing ergonomic and lifestyle advice, and developing treatment plans for patients with spinal and musculoskeletal issues.
  • Required Education: A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree and a state license to practice.

Engineer for Medical Devices

Medical device engineers design, develop, and maintain medical equipment like MRI machines, prosthetics, and surgical instruments, ensuring they meet industry standards and user needs.

  • Average Salary: $118,690.
  • Responsibilities: Designing medical devices, conducting research and development, and ensuring devices comply with regulatory standards.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or a related field, often accompanied by a master’s degree for advanced positions.

Technologist in Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine technologists prepare and administer radioactive drugs for imaging or therapeutic purposes. They work closely with physicians to provide patient care.

  • Average Salary: $109,205.
  • Responsibilities: Operating nuclear medicine equipment, preparing and administering radiopharmaceuticals, and ensuring safety protocols are followed.
  • Required Education: An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology, along with certification and licensure in some states.

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—from chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, to acute conditions found in emergency patients.

  • Average Salary: $104,656.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing patients, conducting diagnostic tests, and providing therapeutic treatments to assist with breathing difficulties.
  • Required Education: An associate’s degree in respiratory therapy; most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree and certification.

Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance Engineers in the medical/dental instruments sector ensure that products meet certain thresholds of acceptability. They develop, apply, and maintain quality standards for processing materials into finished products.

  • Average Salary: $92,000.
  • Responsibilities: Developing and implementing quality management systems, conducting audits and inspections, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in engineering, quality assurance, or a related field.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians, use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.

  • Average Salary: $91,597.
  • Responsibilities: Operating ultrasound equipment, analyzing sonographic images, and providing preliminary findings to physicians.
  • Required Education: An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in sonography or a related field, along with certification from a recognized organization.

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists work closely with dentists to offer care that prevents and treats diseases of the gums and teeth. They clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases, and provide other preventive dental care.

  • Average Salary: $89,862.
  • Responsibilities: Cleaning teeth, assessing oral health conditions, and providing preventive care education.
  • Required Education: An associate’s degree in dental hygiene; some states require a bachelor’s

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a career in the medical/dental instruments sector not only offers a lucrative salary but also provides the satisfaction of contributing significantly to patient care and healthcare advancements. Whether you’re interested in direct patient care, engineering, quality assurance, or technology, this field offers diverse opportunities that combine technical expertise with the potential to impact lives positively. As healthcare technology evolves, professionals in this field can expect continued growth and demand for their skills.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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