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Orthotists and Prosthetists

Orthotists and Prosthetists
Quick Facts : Orthotists and Prosthetists*
2010 Median Pay$65,060
Entry Level EducationMaster's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20126,300
Job Outlook12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change800

Orthotists and prosthetists, also called O&P professionals, design medical supportive devices and measure and fit patients for them. These devices include artificial limbs (arms, hands, legs, and feet), braces, and other medical or surgical devices. O&P professionals may work in both orthotics and prosthetics, or they may choose to specialize in one.

What Orthotists and Prosthetists Do

  • Evaluate and interview patients to determine their needs
  • Measure patients to design and fit medical devices
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices based on physicians' prescriptions
  • Take a mold of the part of the body that will be fitted with a brace or artificial limb
  • Instruct patients in how to use and care for their devices

Work Environment

Most orthotists and prosthetists work in offices that allow them to interact with patients and to design orthotic and prosthetic devices.
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Job Outlook

Employment of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, as there will be a likely increase in older people needing these support devices.
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The average salary of orthotists and prosthetists in May 2010 was $65,060.
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Orthotists and Prosthetists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Orthotists and Prosthetists


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Orthotists and Prosthetists*
Percent Change in Employment

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Becoming a Orthotists and Prosthetists

All orthotists and prosthetists must complete a master's degree in orthotics and prosthetics. These programs include courses such as upper and lower extremity orthotics and prosthetics, spinal orthotics, and plastics and other materials. Both orthotists and prosthetists must complete a 1-year residency before they can be certified.
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