Orthotists and Prosthetists


Overview

Orthotists and Prosthetists

Introduction

Orthotists design and make braces, shoe inserts, and other corrective devices to support the spine or limbs weakened by illness or injury. Prosthetists design, make, and fit artificial limbs for persons missing an arm, leg, or other body part as a result of injury, surgery, or illness. There are approximately 9,100 orthotists and prosthetists employed in the United States, with an estimated 20 percent increase in the number of jobs through 2028.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$68,410

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Employment Prospects

Excellent

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Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree


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Experience

Internship


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Skills

Drawing/Design


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Personality Traits

Creative

Earnings

Salaries of prosthetists and orthotists vary according to education, clinical experience, and certification. Practitioners who work on their own earn substantially more than those who work for others. These practices can be extremely lucrative, but success depends on the practitioner's ability to draw new clients to his or her business. Salaries for independent practitioners usually range from ...

Work Environment

Most prosthetists and orthotists work regular five-day weeks. There is very seldom any need for overtime or evening work. Working conditions are usually good. Offices, examination rooms, and fitting rooms are clean, well lit, and well ventilated. If the prosthetists and orthotists fabricate the devices themselves, however, they may also spend time in a lab or brace shop. These areas typically d...

Outlook

The employment of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow by 20 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations, through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Many factors contribute to the growth of this profession, including the increasing elderly population, increase in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the greater access to medical and rehabilitation care...

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