Orthotic Technician Career Guide

By being part of the healthcare industry, you are contributing to the possibility of achieving a healthier society. To be employed in this industry, however you will need to have the necessary educational qualification, depending on the specific area in which you would want to be employed. As a professional in this field, you will need to know how to deal with patients. One of the employment opportunities that can be taken into account within his field would be being an orthotic technician, which will require you to look after the patients who are suffering from disabilities and to allow them to live as normal as possible. In doing so, you need theoretical foundation and practical experience, which will make sure of your competency and ability to help those who are in need of your services.

Career Snapshot

The work of orthotic technicians will include having to make prosthetics and braces that will help provide support for people who are suffering from physical disabilities and other forms of medical abnormalities. There is a need for excellent communication skills, as well as being attentive to the issues that should be addressed immediately. Other primary responsibilities include planning, making, and repairing supportive devices, as well as taking measurements. For instance, in making a knee brace, the technician must know the circumference of the patient’s knee. There is also a need for drawing or sketching skills to successfully plan the output. Being compassionate and cooperative are other essential skills in this line of work.

Job Outlook

In 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are at least 6,860 professionals who are employed in this field. The employment rate will depend on education, employer, and experience. Some of the most common employment settings are hospitals, private clinics, and other healthcare institutions that take care of people with broken bones and other forms of physical disabilities.

Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2011, the annual median salary for orthotic technicians is $62,250, which may even be higher, depending on the employer, education, experience, and regulations of the state at which you are employed.

Educational Requirements

To become an orthotic technician, there will be a need to acquire master’s degree in this field. Some of the courses that you need to complete are those that are related to plastics, upper and lower extremity, prosthetics, and spinal orthotic, among others. In addition, to successfully finish the course, you will also need to work under the supervision of a professional. The master’s degree is often completed in a period of 2 years.

500 hours of clinical experience will be required for the students who are enrolled for this degree. This will provide them with the opportunity to practice the things that they have learned and to have intensive training on the job. There is also a need to gain certification from the American Board for Certifications in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics. If in case you do not have the luxury of time to pursue campus education, a more convenient alternative would be being enrolled for an online degree.

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