Aspiring orthopedic technologists can find both certificate and associate's degree programs that can prepare them for a career in the field. These programs are offered by traditional colleges and health-focused institutions.
Schools with Orthopedic Technology Programs
Here are some schools that offer programs in orthopedic technology:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Thomas Edison State College||Trenton, NJ||4-year, Public||Associate||$6,135 in-state, $9,036 out-of-state|
|Grossmont College||El Cajon, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,388 in-state, $7,196 out-of-state|
|NHTI - Concord's Community College||Concord, NH||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$7,104 in-state, $15,264 out-of-state|
|West Valley College||Saratoga, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,186 in-state, $4,978 out-of-state|
|Central Georgia Technical College||Warner Robins, GA||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,674 in-state, $4,810 out-of-state|
|The Medical Careers Institute at Coordinate Health||Pittsburgh, PA||2-year, Private||Certificate||$18,750|
|Southern Crescent Technical College||Griffin, GA||2-year, Public||Associate||$4,122 in-state, $7,326 out-of-state|
|Ohio Business College||Sheffield Village, OH||2-year, Private||Certificate||$8,672|
|Carroll University||Waukesha, WI||4-year, Private||Certificate||$29,535|
|Atlantic Technical College||Coconut Creek, FL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,560**|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, **Atlantic Technical College
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School Selection Criteria
Most orthopedic technology programs require an application for admission and prospective students should check program requirements when choosing a school. Consider the following also when looking for orthopedic technology schools:
- Prospective students should make sure they meet the school's minimum admissions criteria; for instance, some schools require students to have CPR certification prior to admission. Others require students to be a registered medical assistant, registered nurse, physician assistant or licensed practical nurse.
- Students should look for programs that are accredited by the National Association of Orthopedic Technologists (NAOT).
- It can be helpful to research a program's alumni pass rate on the National Board of Certified Orthopedic Technologists (NBCOT) certification exam.
- Prospective students should look into internship opportunities offered by a school so they get the chance to gain experience in a setting where they are considering working, such as a large hospital or an athletic training facility.
Certificate programs provide a short series of courses for students who want to become orthopedic technologists. In addition to foundational courses in human anatomy and medical terminology, students take career-specific courses that train them in common orthopedic procedures and sterilization techniques. An internship may also be required. In total, these programs usually take one year to complete; graduates are prepared to take the certification exam offered by the National Board of Certified Orthopedic Technologists (NBCOT).
Associate's Degree Programs
Like certificate programs, orthopedic technology associate's degree programs prepare students to assist orthopedists in the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. They take classroom and laboratory coursework in the biomedical sciences, and they gain experience in the field through internships and practicums. In addition, students are required to fulfill general education requirements. Most programs can be completed in two years, and graduates have the necessary educational background for the NBCOT exam.
There are a number of colleges and universities around the nation that offer training for aspiring orthopedic assistants. When choosing a school, make sure it offers a program that is accredited and prepares graduates for the National Board certification exam.