Prosthetists and orthotists care for people who need an artificial limb or a device to support or control part of their body.
Salary range: £24,214 to £43,772
How to become a prosthetist-orthotist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You can do a degree in prosthetics and orthotics, approved by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists and the Health and Care Professions Council.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can get into this career through a prosthetist-orthotist degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
You can get more advice about a career as a prosthetist and orthotist from Health Careers and the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- designing and fitting surgical appliances (orthoses) like braces, callipers and splints
- working with people recovering from a stroke, those with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy
- assessing a patient’s needs before they have an artificial limb or appliance fitted
- taking measurements and using computer modelling to produce a design of the prostheses or orthoses
- explaining a finished design to a technician, who will produce the final product
- carrying out follow-up checks with patients to see how they are coping with their device
- making sure the appliance or limb is functioning properly, and is comfortable
- carrying out adjustments or repairs
You could work at a health centre, at a client’s home or in an NHS or private hospital.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to a management post or move into a specialist clinical area. You could also move into teaching, or a research and development post.