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Orthotics And Prosthetics Career

Career Description

Orthotists and Prosthetists assist patients with disabling conditions of limbs and spine or with partial or total absence of limb by fitting and preparing orthopedic braces or prostheses.

Common Work Tasks

  • Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit
  • Fit, test, and evaluate devices on patients, and make adjustments for proper fit, function, and comfort
  • Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians’ prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients
  • Maintain patients’ records
  • Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process
  • Select materials and components to be used,  based on device design
  • Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices
  • Repair, rebuild, and modify prosthetic and orthopedic appliances
  • Construct and fabricate appliances or supervise others constructing the appliances

Other Job Titles

Orthotists and Prosthetists are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Physical Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
Individuals interested in a career as a Prosthetist or Orthotist must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. They must also complete a bachelor’s degree program in prosthetics or orthotics; then complete a residency program under a licensed professional.

Certification and Licensure
     
To become certified, an individual must take an examination given by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Salary

The median annual salary for an Orthotist and Prosthetist is $61,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $100,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $32,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of orthotists and prosthetists are:

  • Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing- $70,640
  • Health and Personal Care Stores - $69,470
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - $47,840
  • Federal Executive Branch - $64,810
  • Offices of Physicians - $52,960

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  12%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: N/A
  • Employment 2006 : N/A
  • Employment 2016:  N/A
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