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Orthotist or Prosthetist

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Life As an Orthotist or Prosthetist

Job Description: Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.

Life As an Orthotist or Prosthetist: What Do They Do?

  • Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
  • Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.
  • Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices.
  • Update skills and knowledge by attending conferences and seminars.
  • Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.

Orthotist or Prosthetist Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Orthotists and Prosthetists say are important on the job.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Types of Orthotist or Prosthetist Jobs

  • Licensed Certified Orthotist
  • Board Certified and Licensed Orthotist/Prosthetist
  • Licensed Prosthetist/Orthotist (LPO)
  • Pedorthist
  • Orthotic/Prosthetic Clinician

Is There Job Demand for Orthotists and Prosthetists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 7,800 jobs in the United States for Orthotist or Prosthetist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 21.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,700 new jobs for Orthotist or Prosthetist by 2026. There will be an estimated 700 positions for Orthotist or Prosthetist per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Orthotist or Prosthetist are Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Delaware, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Orthotist or Prosthetist Make?

The average yearly salary of an Orthotist or Prosthetist ranges between $40,090 and $108,780.

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Orthotists and Prosthetists who work in New Hampshire, Texas, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Orthotists and Prosthetists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $61,600
Alaska $62,070
Arizona $71,010
Arkansas $59,150
California $88,460
Colorado $58,740
Florida $54,830
Georgia $67,830
Hawaii $62,590
Idaho $72,720
Illinois $81,090
Indiana $58,460
Iowa $66,490
Kansas $76,480
Kentucky $66,080
Louisiana $83,060
Maine $78,620
Maryland $65,620
Massachusetts $79,020
Michigan $76,430
Minnesota $76,920
Missouri $76,540
Montana $55,690
Nebraska $64,740
Nevada $70,510
New Hampshire $81,460
New Jersey $70,900
New York $79,990
North Carolina $78,910
North Dakota $66,810
Ohio $69,380
Oklahoma $55,080
Oregon $68,860
Pennsylvania $67,320
Rhode Island $75,310
South Carolina $64,300
South Dakota $66,260
Tennessee $62,800
Texas $82,730
Virginia $79,290
Washington $74,100
West Virginia $67,130
Wisconsin $71,380

Tools & Technologies Used by Orthotists and Prosthetists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Orthotists and Prosthetists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • Gait analysis software
  • Seattle Systems Shapemaker
  • Vorum Research Corporation CANFIT-PLUS
  • Computer graphics software
  • Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System

How do I Become an Orthotist or Prosthetist?

Learn what Orthotist or Prosthetist education requirements there are.

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Orthotists and Prosthetists Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming an Orthotist or Prosthetist might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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