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Life As an Orthotist or Prosthetist

Orthotist or Prosthetist Definition 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?

  • Update skills and knowledge by attending conferences and seminars.
  • Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses.
  • Research new ways to construct and use orthopedic and prosthetic devices.
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.
  • Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
  • Publish research findings or present them at conferences and seminars.

Skills Needed to be an Orthotist or Prosthetist

These are the skills Orthotists and Prosthetists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

  • Certified Orthotist, Practice Manager
  • Orthotics Assistant
  • Certified Orthotic Fitter
  • Upper Extremity Prosthetics Clinical Director
  • Orthotic Fitter

Orthotist or Prosthetist Job Outlook

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.

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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.

Orthotist or Prosthetist Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Orthotists and Prosthetists is somewhere 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

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Orthotists and Prosthetists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Individuals working as an Orthotist or Prosthetist have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Who Employs Orthotists and Prosthetists?

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Orthotists and Prosthetists work in the following industries:

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Similar Careers

Those interested in being an Orthotist or Prosthetist may also be interested in:

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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