There are many exciting careers in the area of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic profession including orthotists, prosthetists, pedorthists, assistants, technicians, orthotic fitters, mastectomy fitters and therapeutic shoe fitters. As the profession grows, so do the excellent employment opportunities available throughout the U.S.
Careers in orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics ultimately focus on the patient and their family or caregiver, with the goal of providing the optimal match between the patient and the most appropriate and well designed prosthesis, orthosis or footwear. These services may require a brief single visit, or may result in a professional relationship that lasts for many years with multiple appointments, scheduled follow-ups, adjustments, repairs, reassessment and periodic replacement of devices.
A career in orthotics, prosthetics or pedorthics provides a unique blend of science, technology, art and patient care. Depending upon your interests, educational background and credentials, your career can focus exclusively on fabrication or manufacturing, education, research and development or patient care. While a majority of professionals work in relatively small private or corporate practices, there are many opportunities to work in hospital based or institutional practices. Orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic professionals interact with many members of the healthcare team. These are likely to include: physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists, insurance company representatives, social services professionals and case managers.
Each discipline has a specific pathway that requires a combination of education, guided experience and examination in order to earn a certification from a leading credentiallying board, such as the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC)
ABC certifications and registrations are considered the profession's highest standards for professionals providing patient care and technical services. These credentials are awarded to individuals who have met ABC’s education, experience and competency assessment (examination) requirements.
Many states also regulate these disciplines and may require licensure candidates to meet requirements and pass examinations that are very similar to those required for certification.
Careers in this profession require interest and aptitude combined with learned skills and continued education. Anyone interested in a career in the orthotic, prosthetic or pedorthic profession should research the educational requirements and prerequisites, as well as any required internships or residencies.
For in-depth information on careers in orthotics or prosthetics and the educational requirements, please refer to WhatisPOP and the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) website.
For information on a career in pedorthics, refer to the ABC Pedorthist page or the Pedorthic Footwear Association (PFA) website.
For current information on states requiring licensure in orthotics, prosthetics and pedorthics please refer to ABC's State Licensure page or contact your state licensure board.
For information on all certification programs please visit ABCop.org.