In the Air Force:
Physical Medicine; Physical Medicine Apprentice; Physical Medicine Apprentice, Orthotic; Physical Medicine Craftsman; Physical Medicine Helper; Physical Medicine Helper, Orthotic; Physical Medicine Journeyman; Prosthodontist; Prosthodontist, Area Dental Laboratory; Prosthodontist, Dental Materials; Prosthodontist, Maxillofacial Prosthetics
In the Army:
Medical Service Corps Officer; Orthopedic Specialist; Podiatry
In the Navy:
Orthopedic Cast Room Technician; Orthopedic Technician
Whether the patient they’re caring for is a child born with one leg shorter than the other, or a veteran who lost a limb in combat… orthotists and prosthetists help people get the medical support devices they need. Orthotists and prosthetists interview patients and evaluate their unique situation to design a custom device or solution. They take detailed measurements or impressions and select appropriate materials for the device, which might include artificial arms, hands, legs, feet, or braces. They may either fabricate the device, or supervise a technician who constructs the device according to their specifications. Once a piece is finished, orthotists and prosthetists meet with patients to instruct them on how to use and maintain their device. While both have training to make any type of device, if they specialize, orthotists specifically work with supportive devices such as spinal or knee braces, while prosthetists specialize in prostheses such as artificial limbs. Stamina and dexterity are important in both fields to operate shop equipment, examine patients, and build with intricate mechanical parts. Most orthotists and prosthetists work full time in manufacturing facilities, retail stores, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. A master’s degree, one-year residency, and certification are typically required. Graduate programs include courses in working with plastics and other materials, as well as supervised clinical experience. Some states require licensure.
What they do:
Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.
On the job, you would:
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.
Engineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Gait analysis software
Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
Computer aided design CAD software
Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System
master's degree or certificate after college usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.