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Prosthetic and Orthotic Technician

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians work with prosthetists and orthotists. Prostheses (artificial limbs) and orthoses (braces and supports) are used to replace amputated limbs, support weakened body parts, or correct body defects. Prosthetic and orthotic technicians help to design, manufacture, and repair prostheses and orthoses.

Also Known As

Orthotic Technician, Prosthetic Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Prosthetic and Orthotic Technicians (3219.4) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Medical Technologists and Technicians (Except Dental Health) (D219) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health) (3219) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health) (3219) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Prosthetic and Orthotic Technicians
2006 NOC : 3219.4

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with machine and hand tools to repair, rebuild and modify prosthetic and orthotic appliances and orthopedic footwear and to fit, adjust and repair appliances

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information taken from body and limb measurements to build prosthetic and orthotic appliances using a variety of materials such as metals, plastics and leathers

METHODICAL

Interest in speaking with patients to ensure that prosthetic and orthotic appliances fit comfortably during trial fittings; and in building custom-designed components and appliances as directed

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians may specialize in prosthetics, orthotics, or both. They provide technical support in the design, manufacture, and assembly of both types of devices. In general, prosthetic and orthotic technicians:

  • Assess and discuss manufacturing needs and company requirements with the clinical team
  • Make prostheses and orthoses from plaster cast positives, assessment forms, or computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
  • Make orthotic and prosthetic devices using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, resins, metal alloys, leather, and carbon composites
  • Service and repair devices as required
  • Maintain an inventory of materials needed
  • Assist prosthetists and orthotists in working with patients
  • Service and repair machinery used to make the devices
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians work in private clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation centres. They may also work in laboratories that specialize in making or supplying these devices. The work involves standing at workbenches while using machinery. Machines can include grinders, sanders, buffers, drill presses, lathes, welding equipment, and sewing machines.

Depending on the setting, technicians use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM). They also use computer imaging and computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment.

Technicians may need to lift heavy items such as plaster bags or sheets of plastic. These may weigh up to 40 kilograms.

They must follow current policies, procedures, and fabrication standards. They may work under deadline pressure. They may need to adapt schedules to accommodate emergency services.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians need:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Strength and stamina
  • Mechanical ability and ingenuity
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work as a team member

They should enjoy analyzing measurements and keeping up with current technologies to build unique, custom devices. They should enjoy working with tools and machinery at precision tasks and having clear guidelines. They should be comfortable working with a team.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)

NOC code: 3219

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 40 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Jul 04, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Maintain inventories of medications and prescription records of pharmaceutical products
Ensure the information on prescriptions is accurate, enter client information in databases and prepare medications for clients
Personal Suitability: Organized
Bill third party insurers
Personal Suitability: Team player
Compound oral solutions, ointments and creams
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers require candidates to have a post-secondary accredited diploma. They may learn on the job or have a combination of education and on-the-job training. Education in human kinetics, biology, and physics is an asset.

George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto offers a 2-year Prosthetic-Orthotic Technician program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

British Columbia Institute of Technology

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

No legislation currently regulates this occupation. However, orthotic or prosthetic technicians can register with the Canadian Board for Certification of Prosthetists and Orthotists (CBCPO). They can register through Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians work for:

  • Privately owned orthotic / prosthetic clinics
  • Hospital rehabilitation departments
  • Government agencies
  • Orthotic and prosthetic manufacturers or suppliers

In large organizations, experienced technicians may advance to supervisory positions.

Prosthetic and orthotic technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3219: Other Medical Technologists and Technicians (Except Dental Health). In Alberta, 95% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 3219: Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health) occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 96 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Salaries for prosthetic and orthotic technicians vary widely from province to province. However, salaries increase for technicians who register with an accredited body such as the Canadian Board for Certification of Prosthetists and Orthotists.

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)

2016 NOC : 3219
Average Wage
$31.35
Per Hour
Average Salary
$56,641.00
Per Year
Average Hours
34.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3219 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $34.23 $24.08 $25.10
Overall $17.63 $44.71 $31.35 $35.23
Top $24.00 $59.29 $36.26 $37.38

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
51%
51%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
36%
36%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
6%
6%
Vacancy Rate
1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Association of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) website: www.albertaoandp.com

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: www.hsaa.ca

International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics, Canada (ISPO Canada) website: ispo.ca

Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC) website: opcanada.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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