Career Advice on How to Become a Medical Appliance Technician

General Career Information

Medical appliance technicians might not be a job that most people think about on a day-to-day basis, but if you are in need of their services, you certainly hope they can do a good job. A medical appliance technician builds and repairs such devices as artificial limbs and braces, as well as other medical appliances. The process for creating these devices can be somewhat elaborate, complex and time consuming. Those who are interested in this career and are considering adding it to their job search or career planning, should realize that it’s a job that not only requires skill, but patience as well.

Career Facts:

Medical appliance technicians work closely with doctors such as podiatrists to construct the necessary artificial limbs and other devices that a patient might need. These medical devices can range from replacement limbs, such as arms and legs, to corrective braces. Much of the process is making sure that the final prosthetic device fits the patient well and has as high of a degree of functionality as is possible.
The process of constructing a medical appliance or medical device often begins with taking a plastic or wax impressive of the area. This is done so that the medical appliance technician knows what shape and contour is needed for the prosthetic. Plaster casts are often taken as well.

The medical appliance technician needs to be skilled in working with a variety of materials, including metal, plastic and even wood. Gluing, welding and riveting are all potentially part of the construction process. Once a device has been successfully fitted on a patient, the medical appliance technician works to maintain the device, repairing any wear and tear that may occur from its normal use. In the end, the process can be a long one, requiring many steps. But it is also a rewarding one, as medical appliance technicians know that they are helping patients with very real and necessary needs.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

The job outlook for the medical appliance technician is about average at nine percent. In 2006, there were about 12,000 medical appliance technicians in the United States, and this number is expected to increase to about 13,000 by 2016.
Job Outlook is Fair  

A Day in The Life:

A day in the life of a medical appliance technician obviously varies depending upon the type of medical device they are building; whether it is to be fitted or to replace an arm or a leg, for example. However, in general, the medical appliance technician constructs devices that are custom to the patient. He of she then maintains those devices, making sure that they function properly over the course of their service life.

Average Salary:

Medical appliance technician earn roughly $15 per hour, which is not impressively high considering the potential level of know-how and skill involved. Yet, unlike many other medical professions, the medical appliance technician does not have a relatively peaceful work environment, or at least this should be the case.

$25k - $30k


Career Training and Qualifications:

It is common for medical appliance technicians to learn their skills on the job.
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