Orthotists and prosthetists, also called O&P professionals, design medical supportive devices and measure and fit patients for them. These devices include artificial limbs (arms, hands, legs, and feet), braces, and other medical or surgical devices.
Orthotists and prosthetists held about 8,500 jobs in 2012. Most work in offices, where they meet with patients, and then design orthotic and prosthetic devices.
How to Become an Orthotist and Prosthetist
Orthotists and prosthetists need at least a master’s degree and certification before entering the field. Both orthotists and prosthetists must complete a 1-year residency before they can be certified.
The median annual wage for orthotists and prosthetists was $62,670 in May 2012.
Employment of orthotists and prosthetists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The large, aging baby-boom population will create a need for orthotists and prosthetists, since both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are the two leading causes of limb loss, are more common among older people.