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Career Profile: Medical Appliance Technicians

Construct, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 14,600 people employed as medical appliance technicians in the United States. The median annual salary is $41,800. Entry level employees earn approximately $27,100 per year and senior employees earn approximately $69,850 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.
  • Mix pigments to match patients' skin coloring, according to formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices.
  • Instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools required.
  • Make orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand or power tools.
  • Bend, form, and shape fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components.
  • Construct or receive casts or impressions of patients' torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns.
  • Repair, modify, or maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
  • Cover or pad metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
  • Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
  • Lay out and mark dimensions of parts, using templates and precision measuring instruments.
  • Fit appliances onto patients, and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Polish artificial limbs, braces, or supports, using grinding and buffing wheels.
  • Take patients' body or limb measurements for use in device construction.
  • Drill and tap holes for rivets, and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
14,600
Annual Openings:
2,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
14%
Annual Salary Range:
$27,100 - $69,850
Education Requirements:
High school diploma