In this career, your responsibilities may include:
- Designing and creating orthopedic and prosthetic devices based on physicians’ prescriptions and patients’ specifications (orthopedic devices being supportive equipment like joint braces, and prostheses being artificial body parts such as an artificial replacement leg).
- Teaching patients how to use their devices, and how to properly care for them.
- Adjusting devices to achieve ideal fit, and repairing or replacing them as necessary.
In your job search, you may find job listings for this career under different titles. You can find some examples of these, as well as more information about this career, at Career One Stop.
Typically requires a master’s degree.
After graduating with a master’s degree, orthotists and prosthetists must complete a one-year training residency. Those who wish to become certified in both orthotics and prosthetics must either complete separate one-year residencies in each discipline, or a special 18-month combined residency program.
Certification is required in three states: Idaho, North Dakota, and Mississippi.
Even in states where it is not required, many employers prefer to hire candidates who hold certification.
You may be eligible for one of seven specialty certifications from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics.
Licensure is required in 15 states.