Orthotists and Prosthetists
Orthotists or Prosthetists design, build, fit and repair splints, braces, callipers, artificial limbs and related appliances to restore function or compensate for muscular and skeletal disabilities.
Examines the patient and takes the necessary measurements to create an artificial limb, brace, splint or other related appliance.
Reads prescriptions for limbs and other related devices.
Makes a plaster cast of the limb or abnormality.
Designs limbs or related appliances.
Makes the device or limb and supervises its construction or selects a commercially-made product and adjusts it to fit the patient.
Fits the device or limb to the patient.
Instructs the patient on the use and care of the device or limb.
Carries out repairs and follow-ups with the patient to evaluate the effectiveness of an artificial limb or device.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Other Health Diagnostic & Promotion Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 76% of people employed as Orthotists and Prosthetists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Orthotists and Prosthetists work in the Health care and social assistance industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Orthotists and Prosthetists||All Jobs Average|
Around 72% of Orthotists and Prosthetists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Orthotists and Prosthetists is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 43% of the workforce. This is 5 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Orthotists and Prosthetists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A university degree in applied science or health science majoring in prosthetics or orthotics is needed to work as an Orthotist or Prosthetist. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Orthotists and Prosthetists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||27.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||2.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Other Health Diagnostic & Promotion Professionals who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
55%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Looking for ways to help people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
50%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
50%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
46%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
43%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
75%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
62%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
62%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
60%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
59%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
58%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
58%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
52%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
52%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
51%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
41%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Read and understand written information.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are far away.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
77%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
77%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
73%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
71%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
70%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
70%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
69%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
66%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
65%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
65%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
64%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
61%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
61%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
59%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
58%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
58%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
58%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
57%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
46%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
95%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
95%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
Use electronic mail.
91%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
91%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
90%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
90%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work to strict deadlines.
89%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
89%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work with people in a group or team.
88%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
83%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
83%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
82%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-2091.00 - Orthotists and Prosthetists.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.