appliance technicians learn their craft on the job; however, many
employers prefer to hire those with formal training.
High school students
interested in becoming medical appliance technicians should take
mathematics, metal and wood shop, and drafting. Medical appliance
technicians usually begin as helpers and gradually learn new skills as
they gain experience.
Formal training is also available. Orthotic and prosthetic technician
programs are accredited by the National Commission on Orthotic and
Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). These programs offer either an associate
degree or a 1-year certificate for orthotic or prosthetic technicians.
The programs instruct students on human anatomy and physiology, orthotic
and prosthetic equipment and materials, and applied biomechanical
principles to customize orthotics or prostheses. The programs also
include clinical rotations to provide hands-on experience.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.