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Career profile Medial Appliance Technician

Also known as Certified Pedorthotist, Hearing Aid Repair Technician, Lab Technician, Orthopedic Technician, Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (OP Technician), Orthotic Technician, Prosthetic Technician, Prosthetics Technician, Registered Prosthetic Orthotic Technician

Medial Appliance Technician

Also known as Certified Pedorthotist, Hearing Aid Repair Technician, Lab Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Social
Pay Range
$27,100 - $69,850 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools required.
  • Drill and tap holes for rivets, and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Make orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand or power tools.
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What does a Medial Appliance Technician do?

Medial Appliance Technicians construct, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.

What kind of tasks does a Medial Appliance Technician perform regularly?

Medial Appliance Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools required.
  • Drill and tap holes for rivets, and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Make orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand or power tools.
  • Bend, form, and shape fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components.
  • Construct or receive casts or impressions of patients' torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns.
  • Repair, modify, or maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
  • Cover or pad metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
  • Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
  • Lay out and mark dimensions of parts, using templates and precision measuring instruments.
  • Fit appliances onto patients, and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Polish artificial limbs, braces, or supports, using grinding and buffing wheels.
  • Take patients' body or limb measurements for use in device construction.
  • Instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.

The above responsibilities are specific to Medial Appliance Technicians. More generally, Medial Appliance Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

What is a Medial Appliance Technician salary?

The median salary for a Medial Appliance Technician is $41,750, and the average salary is $45,630. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Medial Appliance Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Medial Appliance Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Medial Appliance Technicians earn less than $27,100 per year, 25% earn less than $33,350, 75% earn less than $54,240, and 90% earn less than $69,850.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Medial Appliance Technicians is expected to change by 14.4%, and there should be roughly 2,200 open positions for Medial Appliance Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$41,750
Typical salary range
$27,100 - $69,850
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
14.4%

What personality traits are common among Medial Appliance Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Medial Appliance Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Social interests.

Medial Appliance Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Medial Appliance Technicians typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Medial Appliance Technicians typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Medial Appliance Technician tend to value Relationships, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Medial Appliance Technicians strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Medial Appliance Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Medial Appliance Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Medial Appliance Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and concern for others.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Medial Appliance Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Medial Appliance Technicians need?

Medial Appliance Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Medial Appliance Technicians 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 this occupation.

Educational degrees among Medial Appliance Technicians

  • 4.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 26.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 34.7% completed some college coursework
  • 16.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 14.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Medial Appliance Technicians

Medial Appliance Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, customer and personal service, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Medial Appliance Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
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.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Medial Appliance Technicians

Medial Appliance Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Medial Appliance Technicians need abilities such as near vision, problem sensitivity, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Medial Appliance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Medial Appliance Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Medial Appliance Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, critical thinking, and quality control analysis to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Medial Appliance Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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