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Orthotist or Prosthetist

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Life As an Orthotist or Prosthetist

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

Daily Life Of an Orthotist or Prosthetist

  • Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.
  • Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
  • Maintain patients’ records.
  • Research new ways to construct and use orthopedic and prosthetic devices.
  • Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process.
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians’ prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.

Orthotist or Prosthetist Required Skills

When polled, Orthotists and Prosthetists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Pedorthist
  • Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist (CPO)
  • Orthotist/Prosthetist
  • Board Certified and Licensed Orthotist/Prosthetist
  • Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist CPO and Area Practice Manager APM

Is There Going to be Demand for Orthotists and Prosthetists?

There were about 7,800 jobs for Orthotist or Prosthetist in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 700 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Orthotists and Prosthetists in U.S.

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?

Orthotists and Prosthetists make between $40,090 and $108,780 a year.

Salary Ranges for Orthotists and Prosthetists

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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Orthotists and Prosthetists in different U.S. states.

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

Becoming an Orthotist or Prosthetist

Are there Orthotists and Prosthetists education requirements?

Orthotist or Prosthetist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Orthotist or Prosthetist?

Orthotist or Prosthetist Work Experience

Where Orthotists and Prosthetists Are Employed

Orthotist or Prosthetist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Orthotists and Prosthetists employed by various industries.

Orthotist or Prosthetist Industries

Similar Careers

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


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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