Medical appliance technician essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $36,100
- 2012, number of jobs: 12,230
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 4 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Medical appliance technicians; what they do:
Thanks to the work of medical appliance technicians individuals who lost limbs due to disease, aging, birth defects, amputation, or other reasons have the option of wearing medical supportive devices, such as prosthetic limbs, arch supports, facial parts, and foot and leg braces.
Medical appliance technicians create their devices based on work order and specifications from podiatrists, orthotists, prosthetists, and other healthcare professionals. Medical appliance technicians determine what materials and tools to use for a specific job. They create a pattern and form the fabric or material into the appropriate shape.
A medical appliance technician career includes using a variety of hand tools or power tools when shaping and finishing or polishing the devices they create. A medical appliance technician career also includes repairing broken medical supportive devices.
Orthotic and prosthetic technicians make orthoses and prostheses.
Medical appliance technicians job titles:
- Prosthetic Technician
- Orthotic Technician
- Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O and P Technician)
- Registered Prosthetic Orthotic Technician
- Hearing Aid Repair Technician
- Prosthetic Lab Technician
- Licensed Orthotic Assistant
- Orthopedic Technician
Medical Appliance Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
No formal education requirements exist for people seeking a medical appliance technician career, as most medical appliance technicians learn their trade through on-the job training. Although some technical or vocational schools offer programs for medical appliance technicians, these programs are uncommon.
Medical appliance technician programs cover subjects such as:
- Medical appliance materials
- Biomechanical principles
- Clinical rotation
Medical appliance technicians don’t need certification; however certification certainly helps in job competition, as it demonstrates mastery and professionalism to potential employers. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics provides certification to medical appliance technicians.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Some medical appliance technicians who complete additional formal education advance in their career to become an orthotist or a prosthetist.
Medical Appliance Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: Four percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for medical appliance technicians, slower than the average for all occupations.
The aging baby boomer population increases the need for medical appliance technicians; diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the two major causes of loss of limbs, are more likely to happen to older people.
Advances in technologies, which increase automation in the manufacturing of prostheses, are the primary factors slowing job growth for medical appliance technicians.
Medical Appliance Technicians Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $36,100
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $45,010
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $28,450
Medical Appliance Technicians Major Employers
- Manufacturing laboratories
- Health and personal care stores