Build body braces to correct misalignments.
picture of Orthotist

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$34,000 – $107,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Orthotists do?

An Orthotist creates braces and splints to help patients with injuries or illnesses. Orthotists are often linked to Prosthetists because both of them create additions to the body that help a person get around and live their life. But unlike a Prosthetist, who makes limbs, an Orthotist makes extra skeletons for different parts of the body.

In this job, clients come to you through referrals from their regular Doctors. They usually suffer from problems like arthritis, birth defects, or an illness like scoliosis that needs external help to keep the body properly aligned. You start your session by looking at the diagnosis, discussing things like where the pain is, and finding out how mobile the patient is.

Then you come up with the best possible option for them, be it a back brace, a hard splint, or shoe inserts. After that, you get to work creating the piece.

Even though your final work is mostly made out of rubber, steel, wood, or plastic, you always start with plaster. A hard mold of the area allows you to make measurements, test out the new design, and make adjustments throughout the building process.

Once you have a final product, you meet with your client again to try out the new creation and make any final adjustments. You give instructions on how to use and maintain it, and then meet with the client periodically to make sure the piece is doing what it should. As the client grows and their condition changes, you might make adjustments or even create completely new braces.

Should I be an Orthotist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • Also known as: ABC Orthotist, American Board Certified Orthotist, Certified Orthotic Fitter, Licensed Certified Orthotist

    How to become an Orthotist

    Most Orthotists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aka9eg&chl=|certificate+%2813%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2874%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,74
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