Prosthetist and Orthotist

Job Description:

Prosthetists and orthotists use the latest technology to create devices that help patients move without pain.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Day-to-day tasks
Your duties will depend on whether you work as a prosthetist, an orthotist or a mix of both.

As a prosthetist, you’ll create and fit artificial limb replacements.

As an orthotist, you’ll use technology to correct problems with nerves, muscles and bones.

Prosthetic and orthotic tasks
In a role with a mixture of prosthetic and orthotic work, you’ll typically:

  • work out what a patient needs before a device is made or fitted
  • discuss treatment plans with physiotherapists and surgeons
  • work with technicians to make the final product using computer software
  • check that the appliance or limb is comfortable and working properly
  • check how a patient is coping with their device and make changes or repairs if needed


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Prosthetist and Orthotist, you should focus on a combination of science and healthcare-related subjects during your high school years and beyond. Prosthetists and Orthotists are healthcare professionals who design, fit, and provide support for prosthetic limbs and orthopaedic braces.

Here are the recommended subjects:

  1. Science (Biology and Physics): These subjects provide a fundamental understanding of human biology, anatomy, and the principles of physics that are crucial for understanding how prosthetics and orthotics work.
  2. Mathematics: Mathematics is essential for making accurate measurements, calculations, and adjustments when designing and fitting prosthetic limbs and orthopaedic devices.
  3. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can provide valuable skills in understanding materials, fabrication techniques, and the design process, which are all relevant to prosthetics and orthotics.
  4. Physical Education (PE): PE can help you develop a good understanding of biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system, which is relevant when designing and fitting orthopedic devices.
  5. English Language: Strong communication skills are crucial in healthcare professions, as you’ll need to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.

Post School

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.

You can do a degree in prosthetics and orthotics.

You could take a Prosthetist and Orthotist Integrated Degree Apprenticeship to become a prosthetist and orthotist.

You could start by taking a Prosthetic and Orthotic Technician Advanced Apprenticeship. This would allow you to become a technician, supporting prosthetists and orthotists. After this, you may be able to move onto the level 6 degree apprenticeship to progress to a prosthetist and orthotist.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could typically work 37 to 40 hours per week.

You could work at a health centre, at a client’s home or in a hospital.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • manage a team of prosthetists and orthotists
  • specialise in a certain area, such as sports injuries, diabetes injuries or children’s prosthetics
  • teach trainee prosthetists and orthotists
  • move into researching and developing new products