PROSTHETISTS/ORTHOTISTS assist patients with disabling conditions of limbs and spine or with partial or total absence of limb by fitting and preparing orthopedic braces and prostheses. They custom-make and fit artificial and orthopedic braces. Prosthetists work with the artificial replacement of missing limbs or other body parts. Orthotists are concerned with supports or braces for weak or ineffective joints or muscles. They perform fittings, evaluate the devices on the patient, and make adjustments to ensure good fit, function, and comfort. Prosthetists and orthotists instruct the patient in the proper use and care of the artificial limb or brace. They also maintain patient records.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $68,500 average per year ($33.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (5,900 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.5% per year)
Education for PROSTHETISTS/ORTHOTISTS occurs in two forms: bachelor's degree and certificate programs. Degree programs are based on a standard 4-year curriculum, and certificate courses range from 6 months to 1 year for one discipline to 18 months to 2 years for both disciplines. Applicants for the bachelor's degree programs should have a high school diploma and meet institutional entrance requirements. Applicants for post- baccalaureate programs should have a bachelor's degree that includes course work in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, computer science, algebra, human anatomy, and physiology. No licensing or certification is required for prosthetists or orthotists.