Prosthetists and orthotists provide care for people who need an artificial limb (prosthesis) or a device to support or control part of the body (orthosis). 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £68,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to take a 3- or 4-year BSc (Hons) degree in prosthetics and orthotics, approved by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

The approved degree course is available at 2 universities in the UK:

If you're a UK resident you'll have your tuition fees paid for you and you may also be able to get a grant, depending on your financial circumstances. You can get more information from the NHS Business Services Authority.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • technical and practical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • creativity, to design and produce devices
  • sensitivity and understanding of patients’ needs
  • excellent IT skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • designing and fitting surgical appliances (orthoses) like braces, callipers and splints
  • working with people recovering from a stroke, those with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy
  • assessing a patient's needs before they have an artificial limb or appliance fitted
  • taking measurements and using computer modelling to produce a design of the prostheses or orthoses
  • explaining a finished design to a technician, who will produce the final product
  • carrying out follow-up checks with patients to see how they are coping with their device
  • making sure the appliance or limb is functioning properly, and is comfortable
  • carrying out adjustments or repairs

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £28,500

Experienced: £26,250 to £35,250

Highly Experienced: up to £68,500

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work between 37 and 40 hours a week Monday to Friday. Part-time or flexible hours may also be available.

You’ll work within hospitals, clinics and health centres. You might also need to visit patients in their own homes.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a management post or move into a specialist clinical area. You could also move into teaching, or a research and development post.

Last updated: 04 October 2016