Medical Appliance Technicians

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About the Job

Construct, fit, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.

It is also Called

  • Arch Support Maker
  • Arch Support Technician
  • Arch-Support Maker
  • Artificial Limb Maker Apprentice
  • Artificial Plastic Eye Maker
  • Brace Maker
  • Brace Maker Apprentice
  • Certified Orthotist
  • Certified Pedorthotist
  • Certified Prosthetist

What They Do

  • 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.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $38,220 with most people making between $22,800 and $57,570

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 14,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 14,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 5,000 replacement openings for approximately 5,000 total annual openings.