Prosthetic Technician: Job Description and Career Information

Learn about what a prosthetic technician does. Read about the education requirements and skills, as well as the expected salary and employment outlook, to see if this is the career for you.

View 10 Popular Schools »

Career Definition

Prosthetic technicians use machinery and computer equipment to design, create and customize prosthetic limbs for medical patients using materials such as wood, metal or plastics. They usually cover the prosthetic limbs in rubber or latex and paint them a color similar to that of the patients' skin to make them look more natural. After the prosthetic limbs are created, the prosthetic technicians then test the devices to make sure they function properly and make adjustments when needed.

How to Become a Prosthetic Technician

Required Education

Prosthetic technicians usually need an associate degree or certification from an accredited institution to find a job, but a number of employers are willing to train applicants as long as they have a high school diploma. Students interested in becoming prosthetic technicians should take courses like wood shop, mechanical engineering, anatomy, physics and chemistry.

Skills Needed

Prosthetic technicians must be good at operating machinery such as power tools and need a high level of hand-eye coordination. They should also be able to follow detailed directions very closely and must have good communication skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (www.bls.gov) reports that the median hourly wage for orthotists and prosthetists, who usually need master's degrees and mainly design prosthetic limbs and other devices, was about $30.13 while the wage for medical appliance technicians, who mainly repair prosthetic limbs and other devices, was $17.35 in May 2012. Between 2012 and 2022, job growth is expected to be 7% for medical appliance technicians and 36 for prosthetists. Since an increasing number of elderly people will need prosthetics, demand will increase for orthotists and prosthetists as well as medical appliance technicians. However, increased manufacturing productivity due to automation will likely slow job growth for medical appliance technicians.

Alternate Career Options

Dental Laboratory Technician

Learning most of their skills on the job and working closely with dentists, these techs use molds of patients' teeth to make dentures, crowns and other dental appliances. Three percent growth was expected in jobs for these technicians, from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. The annual median salary for this occupation in 2012 was $36,090, the BLS reported.

Medical Equipment Repairer

Upon earning an associate's degree in engineering or biomedical technology, along with some on-the-job training, these professionals repair, install and maintain patient care equipment. Depending on specializations and quest for advancement, some repairers might need to pursue bachelor's degrees. A much faster than average employment growth of 30% was projected by the BLS, from 2012-2022. Per the BLS, these repairers earned an annual median wage of $44,570 in 2012.

Show me popular schools

Related to Prosthetic Technician: Job Description and Career Information

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Too Much Technology?

Computers, smart phones and other gadgets are ubiquitous in our lives. Ever-easier to carry around with us, it's a rare moment...

Top Schools for Communication Technology Programs

Read about programs in communication technology, which integrate the study of emerging technologies with the development of...

Cardiovascular Technology Certificate: Program Overview

Learn about certificate programs in cardiovascular technology. Get information on program goals, coursework, and salary...

Understanding OCW Economics: Willem Van Valkenburg of the Delft University of Technology and Demand-Driven Open Education

The Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands is one of the world's premier technology and scientific universities....

Can Technology Prevent the Education Bubble From Bursting? A Dialogue with Trent Batson

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Admissions Requirements Vary By Campus
    School locations:
    • Arizona (4 campuses)
    • Colorado (2 campuses)
    • Connecticut (3)
    • Florida (5)
    • Illinois (3)
    • Massachusetts (1)
    • Maryland (1)
    • New Jersey (2)
    • Nevada (1)
    • Pennsylvania (2)
    • Texas (2)
    • Utah (2)
    • Virginia (1)
    • Washington (2)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Massage Therapy

    What is your highest earned degree?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright