Medical Appliance Technicians
Education & Training
To work as a medical appliance technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- complete long-term on-the-job training.
Education after high school
There are only a few accredited formal training programs in the U.S. for medical appliance technology. They grant a certificate or an associate degree. In these programs you learn how to build and repair orthotics and prosthetics. In addition, you learn to use tools and equipment. You also study anatomy and physiology.
Many employers prefer applicants who have at least taken related college-level coursework in medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.
Most medical appliance technicians learn their skills on the job. One way to train as a technician is to enroll in a two-year program of supervised experience and training. In this program, you work under the guidance of a certified orthotist or prosthetist. You begin working as a helper and gradually learn new skills as you get experience. Afterwards, training may be required intermittently.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical Technology
- Engineering Technology, General
- Orthotic and Prosthetic Therapies
- Physical Therapy
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computer Fundamentals
- Equipment Maintenance and Repair
- Health Education
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.