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Medical Appliance Technicians
SOC Code: 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Certified Pedorthotist, Hearing Aid Repair Technician, Lab Technician, Orthopedic Technician, Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O and P Technician), Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician (O&P Technician), Orthotic Technician, Prosthetic Technician, Prosthetics Technician, Registered Prosthetic Orthotic Technician

Tasks

  • Drill and tap holes for rivets and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools that will be required.
  • 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.
  • Mix pigments to match patients' skin coloring, according to formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Ohio Willow Wood OMEGA Tracer System; SoftSource CADview; Vorum Research Corporation CANFIT-PLUS (see all 5 examples)
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - Orthotic fabrication software
  • Medical software - Footmaxx Metascan software; Gait analysis software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Alignment jig - Alignment stands
  • Anvils
  • Belt sander - Belt sanders
  • Bench vises - Prosthetic bench vises; Workshop bench vises
  • Blow torch - Acetylene torches
  • Calipers - Dial calipers
  • Cast cutters or saws - Cast cutting saws
  • Cheesegrater file - Wood files
  • Claw hammer - Claw hammers
  • Cutting machines - Cutting wheels
  • Deburring tool - Deburring tools
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Digital camcorders
  • Drilling machines - Drill presses
  • Dust collectors - High volume dust collectors
  • Ear muffs - Protective ear muffs
  • End cut pliers - End cutting nippers
  • Glue guns
  • Half round file - Half-round files
  • Heat guns
  • Hex keys - Allen wrenches; Hex wrenches
  • Horizontal turning center - Computerized lathes
  • Hydraulic press brake - Bending brakes
  • Laboratory box furnaces - High temperature laboratory box furnaces
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens - High temperature laboratory ovens; Laboratory infrared ovens; Laboratory mechanical benchtop convection ovens
  • Manual press brake - Arbor presses
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe bending mandrel - Pipe bending mandrels
  • Pipe vises
  • Pneumatic hammer - Pneumatic riveting hammers
  • Pneumatic sanding machines - Bead blasters
  • Pneumatic vacuum equipment - Vacuum stations
  • Power buffers - Buffing wheels
  • Power drills - Cordless drills
  • Power grinders - Grinding equipment; Grinding wheels; Metal grinders
  • Power planes - Power planers
  • Power riveter - Rivet guns
  • Power routers - Power routing tools; Vertical routers
  • Power sanders - Disk sanders; Drum sanders
  • Power saws - Band saws; Pneumatic oscillating saws; Rotary saws; Table saws (see all 5 examples)
  • Pressure indicators - Force platforms
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Bench punches
  • Rasps - Grinding rasps
  • Respiratory therapy compressors - Air compressors
  • Rubber mallet - Rubber mallets
  • Safety glasses
  • Scanners - 3D scanning systems; Digitizers
  • Sewing machines - Flatbed sewing machines; Longarm sewing machines
  • Spot welding machine - Welders
  • Swaging tools
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Torque wrenches
  • Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe - Bench lathes
  • Traveling column milling machine - Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
  • Utility knives - Hot knives
  • Vacuum molding machines - Vacuum formers

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Interests

  • Interest code: RIS
    • Realistic - 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.
    • Investigative - 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.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 58% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 39% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity - 35% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 39% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 36% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 29% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 37% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 31% responded “Important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 28% responded “Serious.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
26%Associate's degree
21%High school diploma or equivalent
18%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $17.88 hourly, $37,190 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 15,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 2,000

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