In Associate of Science in Orthopedic Technology degree programs, students gain the skills necessary to assist licensed physicians and orthopedic specialists, preparing them to seek voluntary technician certification from the National Board for Certification of Orthopedic Technologists. Through fundamental coursework that covers areas like advanced orthopedic anatomy and patient care, and hands-on training in a hospital or physician's office, students learn how to apply, adjust and remove casts and splints, set up traction configurations, perform routine administrative tasks and transport patients. These programs usually take two years to complete and require the completion of a clinical practicum for graduation. Some institutions require a minimum score of 220 on the Psychological Services Bureau Allied Health Occupations Aptitude Examination.
Associate of Science in Orthopedic Technology
Applicants must have a high school diploma and a 3.0 grade point average for admission. Associate's degree programs in orthopedic technology include both general and core occupational courses, including the following:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Introduction to healthcare
- Mathematical modeling
- Orthopedic techniques
- Orthopedic technology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statstics (BLS), the median annual wage of medical appliance technicians, which includes orthopedic technicians, was $34,890 as of May 2015. PayScale.com reported that orthopedic cast technicians specifically earned a salary ranging between $26,985 and $61,015 as of January 2016.
Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Certification of Orthopedic Technologists exam. While a certification designation is not required to work in the field, it might secure employment with some healthcare facilities.
Associate of Science in Orthopedic Technology degree programs use in-class and hands-on clinical experience to teach students how to apply, adjust and remove casts, splints and more.