Summary Report for:
29-2091.00 - Orthotists and Prosthetists
Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.
Sample of reported job titles: American Board Certified Orthotist (ABC Orthotist), Certified Orthotist (CO), Certified Prosthetist (CP), Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist (CPO), Licensed Prosthetist/Orthotist (LPO), Orthotic/Prosthetic Practitioner, Orthotist, Orthotist/Prosthetist, Pedorthist, Prosthetist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
- Fit, test, and evaluate devices on patients, and make adjustments for proper fit, function, and comfort.
- Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses.
- Maintain patients' records.
- Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.
- Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.
- Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process.
- Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices.
- Construct and fabricate appliances or supervise others constructing the appliances.
- Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.
- Update skills and knowledge by attending conferences and seminars.
- Repair, rebuild, and modify prosthetic and orthopedic appliances.
- Show and explain orthopedic and prosthetic appliances to healthcare workers.
- Research new ways to construct and use orthopedic and prosthetic devices.
- Publish research findings or present them at conferences and seminars.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Alignment jig — Vertical transfer jigs
- Automatic lathe or chucking machine — Workshop lathes
- Belt sander — Belt sanders
- Bench vises — Workshop bench vises
- Bending machines — Bending irons
- Calipers — Digital calipers
- Cast cutters or saws — Cast cutters; Cast spreaders
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Deburring tool — Deburring tools
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Electro pneumatic transducers — Pressure transducers
- Electromyography EMG units or accessories — Electromyographs EMG
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Half round file — Half-round files
- Hand reamer — Tube reamers
- Heat guns — Workshop heat guns
- Hex keys — Allen wrenches
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — Laboratory air circulating ovens
- Laboratory safety ovens — Infrared laboratory ovens
- Levels — Laser levels
- Masks or accessories — Dust masks
- Medical exam or non surgical procedure gloves — Medical examination protective gloves
- Medical staff isolation or surgical masks — Surgical masks
- Medical tape measures — Medical measuring tapes
- Mill saw file — Single-cut mill saw files
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Pipe or tube cutter — Tube cutters
- Pipe vises — Pipe clamps
- Power buffers
- Power drills
- Power grinders — Grinding machines
- Power planes — Power planers
- Power routers — Trautman routers; Variable speed routers
- Power sanders
- Power saws — Circular saws
- Pressure indicators — Force platforms
- Protractors — Digital protractors
- Punching pliers — Revolving punch pliers
- Rasps — Hand rasps
- Rulers — Precision rulers
- Scanners — Digitizers; Laser scanners
- Sewing machines — Industrial sewing machines
- Spot welding machine — Welders
- Tablet computers
- Tongs — Holding tongs
- Traveling column milling machine — Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
- Utility knives — Scarpas knives
- Vacuum molding machines — Vacuum molding systems; Vacuum presses
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Infinity CAD Systems AutoSculpt; Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System; Polhemus FastSCAN (see all 7 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Computer graphics software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association CodingPro; Artsco OrthoPro Complete; Gait analysis software; OPIE Practice Management Suite (see all 8 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Examine patients to assess general physical condition.
- Adjust prostheses or other assistive devices.
- Measure the physical or physiological attributes of patients.
- Fabricate medical devices.
- Instruct patients in the use of assistive equipment.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Train medical providers.
- Design medical devices or appliances.
- Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
- Supervise medical support personnel.
- Conduct research to increase knowledge about medical issues.
- Present medical research reports.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 61% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Electronic Mail — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 69% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Time Pressure — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 67% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 55% responded “High responsibility.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Very serious.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Important.”
- Level of Competition — 48% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: SRI
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$30.79 hourly, $64,040 annual|
|Employment (2012)||9,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Much faster than average (22% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||3,800|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Orthotists and Prosthetists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.