Medical Appliance Technicians
SOC: 51-9082.00


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
14,600 employed

Projected (2024):
16,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Arch Support Maker
  • Arch Support Technician
  • Arch-Support Maker
  • Artificial Limb Maker
  • Artificial Plastic Eye Maker
  • Brace Maker
  • Certified Pedorthotist
  • Designer
  • Fabrication Technician
  • Hearing Aid Repair Technician
  • Lab Technician
  • Medical Appliance Maker
  • Medical Assembler
  • Medical Device Assembler
  • Medical or Surgical Instrument Maker
  • Model Maker
  • Orthopaedic Technologist
  • Orthopedic Brace Maker
  • Orthopedic Technician
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O and P Technician)
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O&P Technician)
  • Orthotic Finish Grinding Technician
  • Orthotic Fitter
  • Orthotic Technician
  • Orthotics Technician
  • Prosthetic Lab Technician
  • Prosthetic Technician
  • Prosthetics Lab Technician
  • Prosthetics Technician
  • Registered Prosthetic Orthotic Technician
  • Restoration Officer
  • Restoration Technician
  • Surgical Appliance Fitter
  • Surgical Brace Maker
  • Surgical Instrument Maker

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


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

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
  • Cover or pad metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
  • Polish artificial limbs, braces, or supports, using grinding and buffing wheels.
  • Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.
  • Mix pigments to match patients' skin coloring, according to formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 3D scanning systems
  • Acetylene torches
  • Air compressors
  • Alignment stands
  • Allen wrenches
  • Anvils
  • Arbor presses
  • Band saws
  • Bead blasters
  • Belt sanders
  • Bench lathes
  • Bench punches
  • Bending brakes
  • Buffing wheels
  • Cast cutting saws
  • Claw hammers
  • Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
  • Computerized lathes
  • Cordless drills
  • Cutting wheels
  • Deburring tools
  • Dial calipers
  • Digital camcorders
  • Digitizers
  • Disk sanders
  • Drill presses
  • Drum sanders
  • End cutting nippers
  • Flatbed sewing machines
  • Force platforms
  • Glue guns
  • Grinding equipment
  • Grinding rasps
  • Grinding wheels
  • Half-round files
  • Heat guns
  • Hex wrenches
  • High temperature laboratory box furnaces
  • High temperature laboratory ovens
  • High volume dust collectors
  • Hot knives
  • Laboratory infrared ovens
  • Laboratory mechanical benchtop convection ovens
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens
  • Laptop computers
  • Longarm sewing machines
  • Measuring tapes
  • Metal grinders
  • Metal-cutting bandsaws
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe bending mandrels
  • Pipe vises
  • Pneumatic oscillating saws
  • Pneumatic riveting hammers
  • Power drills
  • Power planers
  • Power routing tools
  • Prosthetic bench vises
  • Protective ear muffs
  • Rivet guns
  • Rotary saws
  • Rubber mallets
  • Safety glasses
  • Swaging tools
  • Table saws
  • Torque wrenches
  • Vacuum formers
  • Vacuum stations
  • Vertical routers
  • Welders
  • Wood files
  • Workshop bench vises
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Footmaxx Metascan software
  • Gait analysis software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System
  • Orthotic fabrication software
  • Seattle Systems Shapemaker
  • SoftSource CADview
  • Vorum Research Corporation CANFIT-PLUS

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220