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Orthotists and Prosthetists

O&P professionals can work on both orthotics and prosthetics or may choose to specialize in one or the other.

O&P professionals can work on both orthotics and prosthetics or may choose to specialize in one or the other.

Quick Facts:
2010 Median Pay $65,060 per year
$31.28 per hour
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2010 6,300
Job Outlook, 2010-20 12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change, 2010-20 800

What Orthotists and Prosthetists Do

Orthotists and prosthetists, also called O&P professionals, design medical support 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.

Work Environment

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

How to Become an Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and prosthetists need at least a master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics and certification before entering the field. Both orthotists and prosthetists must complete a 1-year residency before they can be certified.

Pay

The median annual wage of orthotists and prosthetists was $65,060 in May 2010.

Job Outlook

Employment of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The aging baby-boom population will create a need for prosthetists because the two leading causes of limb loss, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, occur more frequently as people age. The demand for orthotic devices, such as braces and orthopedic footwear, will likely increase because older people tend to need these support devices.

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