Medical Appliance Technician Education Requirements and Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a medical appliance technician. Get an overview of the degree programs and job duties to see if this career is right for you.

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Essential Information

Medical appliance technicians create medical and surgical appliances like braces, joints, supports and artificial limbs. By following specific directions from healthcare professionals, medical appliance technicians help patients in need of these special devices. Limited educational programs are available for specific medical appliance technician specializations, and most education is done with job training.

Required EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Other RequirementsOn-the-job training; voluntary certifications available
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*6%
Average Salary (2013)*$38,220

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical Appliance Technician Education

This position requires a high school diploma; however, most medical appliance technician education is acquired through job training. Job training education pairs trainees with professional medical appliance technicians who teach the steps and procedures involved in the creation of medical devices. Medical appliance technicians specializing in orthotics and prosthetics can find associate's degree programs and certificate programs at a few schools across the United States. These schools are accredited by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (www.ncope.org).

Coursework

High school students interested in this career should focus on taking health, communication and science classes. While there are very few actual medical appliance technical classes available at the college level, a limited number of schools do offer orthotic and prosthetic technician courses. Classes for medical appliance technicians working in orthotics and prosthetics include pathophysiology, health science research methods, prosthetics studies and anatomy.

Career Information

Different specializations are available for medical appliance technicians to choose from, such as working with braces or prosthetics. Licenses are not required of medical appliance technicians, although voluntary certifications are available from the American Board for Certified in Orthotics and Prosthetics (www.abcop.org). Certification is possible after two years of work experience or through the completion of an educational program accredited by NCOPE. Medical appliance technicians should possess good manual dexterity and a keen eye for detail.

Job Duties

Based upon detailed requirements for the product, medical appliance technicians make a plaster cast of the area a patient needs a device for, such as a leg, arm or joint. Along with the patient's cast, the medical appliance technician uses digital scans of the patient's body to create the needed product. Using techniques like welding, carving, grinding or cutting, these technicians work plastic or other crafting materials into the desired shape and form. The medical appliance technicians creates and applies requested cosmetic covers or certain colors before sending it off to the patient.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Minnesota (2 campuses)
    • Texas (3)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    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:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
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    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Undergraduate Certificate in General Studies (Medical Assistants)

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Clinical Laboratory Sciences
        • Cytotechnologist
        • Hematology Technician
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Clinical Laboratory Sciences
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
  • School locations:
    • Nevada (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Nevada include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
        • Clinical Laboratory Sciences
        • Medical Laboratory Technologies
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics