Summary Report for:
51-9082.00 - Medical Appliance Technicians
Construct, fit, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.
Sample of reported job titles: Fitter, Hearing Aid Repair Technician, Lab Technician, Licensed Orthotist Assistant, Orthopaedic Technician, Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O and P Technician), Orthotic Technician, Prosthetic Lab Technician, Prosthetics Technician, Registered Prosthetic Orthotic Technician
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
- Fit appliances onto patients and make any necessary adjustments.
- Make orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand or power tools.
- Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools that will be required.
- Repair, modify, or maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
- Instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices.
- Take patients' body or limb measurements for use in device construction.
- Construct or receive casts or impressions of patients' torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns.
- Bend, form, and shape fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components.
- Drill and tap holes for rivets and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
- Lay out and mark dimensions of parts, using templates and precision measuring instruments.
- Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
- Cover or pad metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
- Polish artificial limbs, braces, or supports, using grinding and buffing wheels.
- Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.
- Mix pigments to match patients' skin coloring, according to formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Alignment jig — Alignment stands
- Belt sander — Belt sanders
- Bench vises — Prosthetic bench vises; Workshop bench vises
- Blow torch — Acetylene torches
- Calipers — Dial calipers
- Cast cutters or saws — Cast cutting saws
- Cheesegrater file — Wood files
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Cutting machines — Cutting wheels
- Deburring tool — Deburring tools
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital camcorders
- Drilling machines — Drill presses
- Dust collectors — High volume dust collectors
- Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
- End cut pliers — End cutting nippers
- Glue guns
- Half round file — Half-round files
- Heat guns
- Hex keys — Allen wrenches; Hex wrenches
- Horizontal turning center — Computerized lathes
- Hydraulic press brake — Bending brakes
- Laboratory box furnaces — High temperature laboratory box furnaces
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — High temperature laboratory ovens; Laboratory infrared ovens; Laboratory mechanical benchtop convection ovens
- Manual press brake — Arbor presses
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Pipe bending mandrel — Pipe bending mandrels
- Pipe vises
- Pneumatic hammer — Pneumatic riveting hammers
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Bead blasters
- Pneumatic vacuum equipment — Vacuum stations
- Power buffers — Buffing wheels
- Power drills — Cordless drills
- Power grinders — Grinding equipment; Grinding wheels; Metal grinders
- Power planes — Power planers
- Power riveter — Rivet guns
- Power routers — Power routing tools; Vertical routers
- Power sanders — Disk sanders; Drum sanders
- Power saws — Band saws; Pneumatic oscillating saws; Rotary saws; Table saws (see all 5 examples)
- Pressure indicators — Force platforms
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Bench punches
- Rasps — Grinding rasps
- Respiratory therapy compressors — Air compressors
- Rubber mallet — Rubber mallets
- Safety glasses
- Scanners — 3D scanning systems; Digitizers
- Sewing machines — Flatbed sewing machines; Longarm sewing machines
- Spot welding machine — Welders
- Swaging tools
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Torque wrenches
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Bench lathes
- Traveling column milling machine — Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
- Utility knives — Hot knives
- Vacuum molding machines — Vacuum formers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System; SoftSource CADview; Vorum Research Corporation CANFIT-PLUS (see all 5 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Orthotic fabrication software
- Medical software — Footmaxx Metascan software; Gait analysis software
- 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.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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).
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- 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.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- 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.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- 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.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- 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.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Detailed Work Activities
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Repair medical or dental assistive devices.
- Mix ingredients to create specific finishes.
- Measure clients to ensure proper product fit.
- Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products.
- Construct customized assistive medical or dental devices.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Inspect medical or dental assistive devices.
- Adjust fabrics or other materials during garment production.
- Operate welding equipment.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Cast molds of patient anatomies to create medical or dental devices.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Repair production equipment or tools.
- Exposed to Contaminants — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Important results.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Level of Competition — 31% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 32% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 37% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|46||Some college, no degree|
|18||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: RIS
- 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.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress 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.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$17.11 hourly, $35,580 annual|
|Employment (2012)||13,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||5,200|
|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.
- Dental and Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians and Medical Appliance Technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.