Individuals who are physically disabled and need a prosthetic device or artificial limb to help them walk or move may require the expertise of a prosthetist. A prosthetist who is often called an “orthotist” is trained to design and fabricate prosthetic devices that allow people who are physically disabled to lead their lives as normally as possible given the circumstances. Prosthetists work directly with patients to evaluate their situations and determine the specific devices that are needed. Sometimes however they work with doctors who have prescribed particular types of prosthetic devices for their patients. They are responsible for designing and building prosthetic devices and then fitting the devices onto patients. They make adjustments as needed and ensure that the devices function as they were intended. They also ensure that the devices are comfortable for the people who use them. Prosthetists use a variety of different types of materials to construct prosthetic devices such as metal wood and plastic. Therefore they therefore must be skilled at using various types of equipment and tools that are used to cut bend and shape these materials. Experience using computer aided design software programs is also helpful during the prosthetic device design phase. According to the website most prosthetists are employed by healthcare clinics hospitals or medical facilities. However some are self-employed. The educational path to becoming a prosthetist includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a graduate degree in the area of occupational therapy or a related field. While not all states require certification many do. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a prosthetist ranges from $54000 to $72500 per year.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $63250
High Salary: $72500
Low Salary: $54000
Tasks: Designs and fabricates artificial limbs.
Consults with patients to determine their artificial limb needs.
Fits and tests prosthetic devices.
Adjusts prosthetic devices to fit individual patients.
Also Called: Prosthesis Fabricator
Allied Healthcare Professional
Prosthetic Technician
Additional Resources: