What do Medical Appliance Technicians Do?
Medical Appliance Technicians construct, fit, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances. This occupation is predicted to grow 6% over the next few years with the creation of 520 jobs. Over half of all of these new jobs will be with medical equipment supplies and manufacturing companies.
Medical Appliance Technicians Skills and Abilities
Medical Appliance Technicians work with clients to design and fit medical devices. You will need an understanding of production processes, quality control, costs and other techniques involved in the manufacture of medical products. Since you will use machines to build these devices you will have knowledge of how they operate. You will also need strong customer service skills to deliver a satisfactory experience to your clients for whom you build medical devices. You should be able to evaluate your effectiveness in designing a quality product. Other important skills for Medical Appliance Technicians are:
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to problems.
- Quality Control Analysis – Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Troubleshooting – Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Medical Appliance Technicians Duties
Medical Appliance Technicians gather information related to a client’s needs, develop specific plans to construct medical devices, and communicate regularly with co-workers to achieve their work goals. You will be making decisions often, and inspecting equipment to identify the causes of any problems. Some specific tasks you will be performing are:
- Measure clients to ensure proper product fit.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials using patterns or other references.
- Mix pigments to match patients’ skin coloring, according to formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices.
- Construct or receive casts or impressions of patients’ torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns.
- Lay out and mark dimensions of parts, using templates and precision measuring instruments.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Fit appliances onto patients and make any necessary adjustments.
- Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
- Repair, modify, or maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
- Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.
Medical Appliance Technicians Tools and Technology
Medical Appliance Technicians use general tools such as bench vises, hex keys, power grinders and saws to construct and repair medical devices. You will also use medical software such as computer design CAD and manufacturing CAM.
Education and Training for Medical Appliance Technicians
Medical Appliance Technicians are not expected to have more than a high school diploma or equivalent. You will have extensive on the job training and do not need any prior experience to find employment. Over 30% of workers in this field have some college experience; if you take college courses you should focus on rehabilitation engineering or assistive technology.
Medical Appliance Technicians Salary
Median pay for Medical Appliance Technicians is over $35,000 per year. The top salary is over $61,000 while the lowest is over $22,000.
Medical Appliance Technicians Jobs by Geography
Utah, Georgia and Colorado have the most jobs available for Medical Appliance Technicians, with growth expected to be over 35%. The weakest job market will be in the South and Northeast which will have less than 10% growth.