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The Orthotic & Prosthetic Field is Growing Fast - Find Your Career!

Finding your career calling can be a journey – but if you have a passion for helping others, making an impact in someone’s life and continuing to learn in a hands-on environment then the Orthotic & Prosthetic field might be the right fit for you!

“Employment of Orthotists and Prosthetists is projected to grow 17% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 1,000 openings for orthotists and prosthetists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.”

Bureau, 2022.

This projected increase is largely due to the aging population, the growing prevalence of obesity and diabetes, and the need to replace the practitioners exiting or retiring from the Orthotic & Prosthetic field. Read on to learn more about the available positions within the Orthotic & Prosthetic industry.


An orthotist or prosthetist is a healthcare professional specifically educated and trained to manage comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic patient care. This practitioner completes a patient assessment, formulates a treatment plan, implements the plan, follows-up with the patient and makes adjustments to their device or care if needed, and can participate in practice management (ABC).   

Requirements for an Orthotist or Prosthetist: 

Degree: Master's degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics from CAAHEP accredited program. 

Clinical Residency: Completion of a 12-month single discipline or 18-month dual discipline NCOPE accredited residency program. 

After the individual meets the degree requirements, completes residency (in orthotics and/or prosthetics), and passes relevant certification exams, they will earn their credential as a Certified Orthotist or Certified Prosthetist. If requirements are met and exams passed in both disciplines, they will earn their Certified Prosthetist Orthotist credential (CPO).

CPO showing a patient an upper-extremity prosthetic device.


A pedorthist is a health care professional specifically educated and trained to manage comprehensive pedorthic patient care, including foot orthoses and shoes. This also includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, patient follow-up and practice management. Pedorthic care includes patient evaluation and the design, fabrication, fitting, modification, maintenance and repair of pedorthic devices for the prevention of painful and/or disabling conditions that originate at the ankle or below (ABC).  

Requirements for a Pedorthist:

Completion of an NCOPE-approved pedorthic pre-certification education program, 


Completion of a CAAHEP-accredited pedorthic pre-certification education program. 

Required experience: 1,000 hours of supervised patient care experience obtained before or after completion of the pedorthic education program.  


An orthotic or prosthetic assistant supports the certified practitioner in providing comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic patient care. The Orthotic Prosthetic Assistant works under the guidance and indirect supervision of the practitioner and may perform orthotic and/or prosthetic procedures, fabrication, repairs and maintenance of devices to provide maximum fit, function and cosmesis and related tasks in the management of patient care. 

Requirements for Orthotic and/or Prosthetic Assistant (three potential pathways):

Pathway 1: Education Only  

- Completion of Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited assistant education program. 

Pathway 2 and 3: Education & Clinical Experience 

*Education requirements for both pathways* 

- High School diploma, GED certificate, college transcript 

- Completion of three semester hours in each of the following courses: Human Anatomy, General/Fundamental Physics, and Medical Terminology. 

Pathway 2: Education and Clinical Experience 

-Complete education requirements above 

-For single discipline certification, completion of 12 months (a minimum of 1900 hours) of clinical experience under direct supervision of a certified/licensed orthotist or prosthetist.  

-For dual discipline certification, completion of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in both orthotics and prosthetics with a minimum of 250 hours in each discipline.  

Pathway 3: Education and Clinical Experience 

-Complete education requirements above 

For those currently holding a nationally recognized certification in a related allied health profession (ex. Medical Assistant, Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist/PTA, Occupational Therapist/OTA): 

-For single Discipline certification, completion of 500 hours of clinical experience under Direct Supervision of an ABC Certified Orthotist or Prosthetist.   -For dual discipline certification, completion of 1,000 hours of clinical experience in both orthotics and prosthetics with a minimum of 250 hours in each discipline.  

Plastic pulling stations at Tillges.


An orthotic & prosthetic technician is an individual trained and qualified to assist an ABC credentialed individual by providing technical support including fabricating, repairs and maintaining orthoses and/or prostheses. This individual is proficient in current fabricating techniques, familiar with material properties and skilled in the use of appropriate equipment (ABC).  

Requirements for Orthotic & Prosthetic Technician (two potential pathways):

Pathway 1: Education Only 

- Completion of a CAAHEP/NCOPE approved Technician Education course 

Pathway 2: Education and Experience 

-Education: High school diploma, GED or college transcript 

-Experience: Completion of two years of technical experience in the discipline(s) of application under the supervision of a certified/licensed practitioner or ABC certified technician in that discipline.  

Technician finishing off a brace in the grinding room.

If you have an interest in the orthotic and prosthetic industry but you are not interested in patient care, there are plenty of other opportunities within the field on the side of administration, business, marketing, research and more. Contact Team Tillges today at 651-772-2665 if you have any further questions or are interested in joining our team!  




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