Students enrolled in a 2-year Master's of Orthotics and Prosthetics program learn about the fundamental aspects of orthotics, including prosthetics devices and braces designed for above and below the knee, disarticulations and upper limb prosthetics. Clinical laboratory classes are a key component of the program and give students an opportunity to better understand the uses and design of various prosthetic and orthotic devices.
After earning a master's degree, aspiring orthotists and prosthestists must also complete a one-year residency. This training qualifies them for licensure and/or certification in states that require it. Most O&P professionals are certified after passing an exam offered by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics.
Prerequisites for a master's degree program include a bachelor's degree in any field as well as required courses in science and mathematics and at least 500 hours of clinical experience, equally divided between orthotics and prosthetics.
Master's Degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics Programs
The curriculum provides students with experience in the design and fitting of artificial limbs and orthotic braces. Some courses include:
- Orthotics and prosthetics pathophysiology
- Spinal orthotics
- Orthotics for the lower limb
- Normal and Pathological gait
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, reports that the employment of orthotists and prosthetists is expected to grow by 23% percent for the period 2014-2024. The annual median salary as of May 2015 for orthotists and prosthetists was $64,430.
Students looking to become orthotists or prosthetists must complete a master's degree and residency program in the field before attaining the often-required certification to practice. Master's degree programs in orthotics look over several aspects of artificial limbs and braces. Job growth in this field is expected to be very healthy over the 2014-2024 decade.