Prosthetic technicians give the gift of artificial replacements (prosthetics) to patients missing an arm or leg.
Training and qualifications requiredAlthough there are no set entry requirements, employers usually ask for five GCSEs (or equivalent) including English, maths and a science or engineering subject. A level 3 apprenticeship standard for prosthetic and orthotic technicians has been approved. To get onto an apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with a health care provider. Employers may ask for engineering or manufacturing experience. They may also ask for experience in healthcare, particularly for where you have contact with patients. You will be given the training you need for the job including an introduction to the department and its procedures, how to use the equipment and manufacturing processes. You may have the opportunity to study for qualifications such as NVQ or BTEC and to attend short courses on particular topics.
Expected working hours and salary rangeProsthetic technicians working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 4. With further training and experience, you may be able to apply for more senior positions at bands 5. Terms and conditions will usually be different for prosthetic technicians working outside of the NHS. Most prosthetic technicians in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may work some evenings or weekends.
Desirable skills and valuesA prosthetic technician needs to be creative, good with their hands, able to work to deadlines, methodical and accurate and able to work from technical instructions. They also need practical skills, design skills, problem-solving skills, confidence using using hand tools, the ability to work with different materials, IT and CADCAM skills and good communication skills if working with patients.
ProspectsWith experience, you could become a team leader, supervising the work of other technicians. With the required qualifications for entry, you could apply to train as a prosthetist.
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