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Medical Appliance Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Medical Appliance Technicians Career Video



Constructs, fits, maintains, or repairs medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Drills and taps holes for rivets and glues, welds, bolts, or rivets parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
  • Reads prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools that will be required.
  • Makes orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand or power tools.
  • Bends, forms, and shapes fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components.
  • Constructs or receives casts or impressions of patients' torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns.
  • Repairs, modifies, or maintains medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
  • Covers or pads metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
  • Tests medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
  • Lays out and marks dimensions of parts, using templates and precision measuring instruments.
  • Fits appliances onto patients and makes any necessary adjustments.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Certified Pedorthotist --
  • Hearing Aid Repair Technician --
  • Lab Technician --
  • Orthopedic Technician -- Duties might include fitting and applying pre-operative braces, crutches and other soft goods; helping prepare and apply casts and orthopedic appliances; removing sutures, casts and splints; and assisting with orthopedic procedures, including wound care,
  • 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 --