USA Career Guide- Orthotists and Prosthetists
Education & Training Needed to be Orthotists and Prosthetists
orthotists and prosthetists must complete a master’s degree in
orthotics and prosthetics. Master’s programs usually take 2 years
to complete. Prospective students can have a bachelor’s degree in any
discipline if they have fulfilled prerequisite courses in science and
mathematics; requirements vary by program.
Certification and TrainingMost
O&P professionals become certified by passing the exam administered
by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and
Professionals who want to be
certified in both orthotics and prosthetics need to complete a year of
residency for each specialty and pass both sets of exams.
- To qualify for the exam, an O&P professional must
have completed a master’s program in orthotics and prosthetics.
- Applicants must also have a 1-year formal residency in orthotics or
prosthetics before sitting for the exam.
Pay of Orthotists and ProsthetistsAs
reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor the
median annual wage of orthotists and prosthetists was $65,060 in May
2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,690, and the top 10
percent earned more than $106,800. According to the American Orthotic
and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), salaries for board-certified
orthotists and prosthetists averages between $69,800 and $88,700,
depending on the certification type and work setting.
The Median annual wages of Orthotists and Prosthetists in
2010Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing $71,070c
Health and personal care stores 68,240
Federal government, excluding postal service 67,110
Offices of physicians 57,660
Hospitals; state, local, and private 49,430
Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2012-13)
Job Prospects of Orthotists and ProsthetistsData from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that projected 2010-2020 employment of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow faster than average, compared to other occupations. Employment
of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow by 12 percent from
2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all
The demand for orthotic devices, such as
braces and orthopedic footwear, will likely increase because older
people tend to need these support devices.
The practice of orthotics and prosthetics is carried out in the following settings:
orthotic and prosthetic facilities,
acute care facilities,
university and research facilities,
rural outreach clinics,
home health settings,
skilled nursing facilities.
Industrial Overview of Orthotists and ProsthetistsOrthotists
and prosthetists held about 6,300 jobs in 2010. Most work in offices,
where they meet with patients and then design orthotic and prosthetic
devices. They can work in small, private offices or in larger
facilities, and they sometimes work in the shops where the orthotics and
prosthetics are made.
Industries employed the largest numbers of orthotists and prosthetists in 2010Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing 34%
Health and personal care stores 19
Offices of physicians 12
Hospitals; state, local, and private 10
Federal government, excluding postal service 9
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition