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.
Related Job Titles
- Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist (CPO)
- 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.
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.
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|
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?
What work experience do I need to become an Orthotist or Prosthetist?
Where Orthotists and Prosthetists Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Orthotists and Prosthetists employed by various industries.
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.