To work as a medical appliance technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
There are only a few accredited formal training programs in the US 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.