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Practice Analysis of ABC Certified Orthotic Fitters

January 2019


Results Related to Professional Background, Work Setting, and Demographic Information

This section provides background information for the sample of respondents. The survey included a questionnaire regarding professional history and then addressed the respondent’s work environment, educational background, and demographic information.

Survey respondents averaged more than 10 years of orthotic fitter experience. Slightly more than 11% have one to two years of experience; approximately one-fourth fell into the three to five years and six to 10 years of experience ranges; almost 17% have 11 to 15 years of experience; and the remaining 20% have 16 or more years of experience.

Table 1

Mean Years of Experience as Orthotic Fitter
Years of experience10.4

Table 2

Years of Experience in Ranges
1 to 211.2%
3 to 524.9%
6 to 1026.8%
11 to 1516.6%
16 or more20.5%

As shown in Table 3, half the respondents work at an orthotic and prosthetic facility (50%) and more than one-fourth (28%) work in a DME/medical supply facility. The remainder of the respondents work at a variety of facilities, with 5% or less working at any other facility type.

Table 3

Type of Facility
Orthotic and prosthetic facility50.0%
DME/medical supply28.2%
Hospital (in-patient)3.4%
Hospital (out-patient)2.1%
Doctor’s office5.0%
Long-term care facility2.1%

More than half the respondents (55%) are the only orthotic fitter at their work location; nearly 40% work at facilities where there were two to four fitters.

Table 4

Number of Orthotic Fitters at Work Location
I am the only orthotic fitter54.6%
11 or more1.7%

Fitters are supervised by a variety of professionals. Respondents were able to identify each type of supervisor they have and were permitted to select more than one answer. As shown in Table 5, the majority of fitters are supervised by an Orthotist (53%) and 30% are supervised by a Prosthetist. A significant number (35%) work independently, and 15% are supervised by a pharmacist.

Table 5

Physician’s Assistant7.6%
Nurse Practitioner3.0%
Physical Therapist4.2%
Occupational Therapist3.0%
Athletic Trainer1.3%
I work independently34.6%

Total does not sum to 100%. Respondents could select all that applied.


As shown in Table 6, slightly over one-third of respondents (34%) have completed a high-school or GED level of education. Twenty-two percent hold an associate’s-level degree and 36% have a bachelor’s degree. Less than 10% have a degree beyond the bachelor’s level.

Table 6

Highest Level of Education Completed
High School/GED33.9%
AA/AS (O&P)5.9%
AA/AS (non-O&P)16.1%
BA/BS (non-O&P)25.0%
BS in O&P.8%
BA/BS and O&P post-baccalaureate certificate10.6%
Master’s degree in O&P.0%
Master’s degree (non-O&P)6.8%

Table 7 presents data on which ABC credentials the survey respondents hold. The most frequently held credential, after the CFo, is the Certified Fitter-orthotics/mastectomy (CFom) with nearly 19% of respondents, followed by the Certified Pedorthist (C.Ped) with 16%. Almost 7% hold the Certified Fitter-mastectomy (CFm) credential.

Table 7

ABC Credentials Held
Certified Fitter-orthotics (CFo)99.2%
Certified Fitter-mastectomy (CFm)6.7%
Certified Fitter-orthotics/mastectomy (CFom)18.8%
Certified Fitter-Therapeutic Shoes (CFts)7.1%
Certified Pedorthist (C.Ped.)15.5%
Certified Technician-orthotics (CTO)1.7%
Certified Technician-prosthetics (CTP).0%
Certified Technician-prosthetics/orthotics (CTPO).8%
Certified Orthotic Assistant (COA).8%
Certified Prosthetic Assistant (CPA).4%
Certified Prosthetic Orthotic Assistant (CPOA).4%
Certified Prosthetist (CP)5.0%
Certified Orthotist (CO)1.3%
Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO)1.3%

Total does not sum to 100%. Respondents could select all that applied.


Reflecting the fact that the CFo credential is relatively new, almost 90% of CFo’s earned their credential within the past 10 years, and 56% earned their CFo credential since 2005.

Table 8

Year CFo Credential Earned
Up to 200011.4%
2001 to 200433.2%
2005 to 200722.7%
2008 to 201032.8%

A small number of respondents hold Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) credentials in addition to their ABC credentials, as shown in Table 9.

Table 9

Other Credential(s) Held
BOC Certified Orthotic Fitter (COF)12.2%
BOC Certified Mastectomy Fitter (CMF).8%
Both BOC COF and BOC CMF3.7%

Slightly more than half the respondents are male (54%). Their mean age is 45 years old, and the vast majority (82%) are Caucasian/White.

Table 10



Table 11

Age of Respondents
20 to 2910.2%
30 to 3922.0%
40 to 4930.5%
50 to 5926.7%
60 and older10.6%


Table 12

Racial/Ethnic Background of Respondents
American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut1.3%
Asian or Pacific Islander2.2%
African American/Black3.0%
Caucasian/White (non-Hispanic)81.8%