Orthotist/ Prosthetist

Orthotists and prosthetists help patients who need man-made limbs or support systems. Orthotists plan, make and fit orthopedic braces and similar devices, such as surgical supports and corrective shoes used to support weakened body parts or correct physical defects. Prosthetists plan, make and fit artificial limbs. While they deal with different
abnormalities, designs and patients, individuals may be both orthotists and prosthetists.

Orthotists and prosthetists:
• meet with physicians, therapists and others on patients’ rehabilitation.
• review prescriptions from physicians.
• examine patients to note any factors that could influence fit of devices.
• measure, take impressions, align and fit orthoses and prostheses.
• design devices to best meet patients’ needs.
• select materials/components and give device specifications to technicians.
• adjust appliances for comfort, alignment and appearance.
• counsel patients on how to use devices.
• maintain and repair devices.
Orthotists and prosthetists may be assisted by orthotic associates and prosthetic associates and/or orthotic technicians and prosthetic technicians.

Average Salary Range
$28,000 – $57,000
Educational Requirements
Students interested in these professions should take challenging high school course work, including science, math and English classes. Certified prosthetists (CP), certified orthotists (CO) or certified prosthetists-orthotists (CPO) must have a bachelor’s degree in prosthetics and orthotics and one year of clinical patient management experience.
Employers may require that orthotists, prosthetists, associates and technicians be certified/registered by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics.
Professional Associations
American Academy of Orthotists
and Prosthetists
526 King St., Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-0788
American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association
330 John Carlyle St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 836-7116