Orthotic technician

Orthotic technicians make splints, braces or special footwear for people of all ages who may have conditions such as arthritis, spina bifida or a stroke.

This page has information on the role of the orthotic technician, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

As an orthotic technician, you'll manufacture orthotic devices (orthoses). These can be splints, braces or special footwear to aid movement, correct deformity and relieve discomfort.

orthotic technician with shoe

You will work with registered orthotists. The orthotist assesses the patient’s needs. You will then manufacture the orthosis using the most suitable materials. You'll work with a wide range of materials including plastics, metals, leather, carbon fibre and composites. Many orthoses are made to measure, designed specifically for each patient. Frequently you'll be involved in the design stage, using digital imaging techniques, CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided modelling).

You'll work with people of all ages with a wide range of conditions, including:

Who will I work with?

Along with orthotists, you will work with doctors, nurses, chiropodists/podiatrists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Where will I work?

As well as working in the NHS, some orthotic technicians work in private clinics and in companies which supply the NHS. In a hospital or clinic, you're likely to have contact with patients; in a manufacturing company you may not.

Entry requirements

Although there are no set entry requirements, employers usually ask for five GCSEs (or equivalent) including English, maths and a science or engineering subject.

Employers may ask for engineering or manufacturing experience. They may also ask for experience in healthcare, particularly for jobs where you have contact with patients. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work. 

Personal characteristics and skills needed

An orthotic technician needs to be:

You'll also need

Training and development 

You will be given the training you need for the job including:

You may have the opportunity to study for qualifications such as NVQ or BTEC. You may also be able to attend short courses on particular topics. Apprenticeships in engineering manufacture at intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3) may be available to enter this role. 

Orthotic technicians can become members of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) or the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. Both organisations run courses, conferences and seminars where orthotic technicians can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

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