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Career Profile: Orthotists and Prosthetists

Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 10,100 people employed as orthotists and prosthetists in the United States. The median annual salary is $70,200. Entry level employees earn approximately $41,790 per year and senior employees earn approximately $110,130 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

  • Maintain patients' records.
  • Fit, test, and evaluate devices on patients, and make adjustments for proper fit, function, and comfort.
  • Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
  • Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses.
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.
  • Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.
  • Construct and fabricate appliances, or supervise others constructing the appliances.
  • Make and modify plaster casts of areas to be fitted with prostheses or orthoses to guide the device construction process.
  • Repair, rebuild, and modify prosthetic and orthopedic appliances.
  • Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.
  • Update skills and knowledge by attending conferences and seminars.
  • Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices.
  • Show and explain orthopedic and prosthetic appliances to healthcare workers.
  • Research new ways to construct and use orthopedic and prosthetic devices.
  • Publish research findings or present them at conferences and seminars.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
10,100
Annual Openings:
1,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
18%
Annual Salary Range:
$41,790 - $110,130
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher