Prosthetist’s salary is around $60,000 in the United States. A prosthetist often works alongside an orthotist in making adaptive medical support devices, such as artificial limbs and braces. Their work includes measuring and designing these devices for individual patients. They have to meet patients, take their measurements, and make a mold of the part of the body where the artificial limb will be fitted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a 36% growth in employment opportunities for prosthetists from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the 14% projected growth for all occupations in the US. The increase is largely due to the aging baby boomers, many of whom suffer from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, two of the top diseases that cause limb loss. Keep reading for more information about prosthetist salary and career requirements.
Prosthetist job description
Prosthetists, along with orthotists, usually start with evaluating and interviewing patients to fully understand their needs. They take the patients’ measurements to accurately design medical devices. While designing such devices, they also have to take the physicians’ prescriptions in mind. Aside from the measurements, prosthetists and orthotists also take a mold of the body part that will be replaced with an artificial limb or fitted with a brace or any other surgical or medical device. It is also their job to choose the right materials to use when making the device, as well as fit, test and adjust to ensure the patients’ comfort. Once the device is created, part of a prosthetist’s responsibility is to carefully teach the patients how to use and maintain their devices. In cases of a damaged device, the patients will have to go back to the prosthetists for repair or update. Documenting everything is also a must for them.
How much does a prosthetist make?
Average prosthetist salary
The average prosthetist’s salary is around $62,670 in 2012, with the wage being $30.13, according to the BLS.
Prosthetist salary in the USA
Based on PayScale’s reports, the median prosthetist’s salary is around $59,495. It ranges from $37,814 to $78,257 per year, with the bonus being as high as $5,042. But Salary.com has a higher figure for this profession’s salary with its report citing it to be around $73,217.
The BLS reported that the average prosthetist’s salary is $69,960 in 2012, with the average wage being $33.64. The top paying industries include the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, which pays them around $77,160, the health and personal care stores, which pays around $72,520, and the offices of physicians, which pays an average of $71,510. The federal executive branch (OES) designation and the offices of dentists wrapped the top five rankings up with a prosthetist’s salary of $69,580 and $69,010, respectively.
The industries that employed the most number of prosthetists, according to the BLS, are headed by the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing. The health and personal care stores, the health and personal care stores, offices of physicians, federal executive branch, and the general medical and surgical hospitals, with an average prosthetist’s salary of $58,310, are also in the list.
PayScale also showed that a Certified Prosthetist salary is around $63,509 as it ranges between $39,355 and $89,831. Bonuses may be as high as $9,933 from some generous employers per year.
Prosthetist salary by state / city in the USA
Rhode Island was the highest paying state for prosthetist in 2012, as BLS reported, as they pay around $99,330 per year. This is followed by New Hampshire with $77,090, Idaho with $63,640, Georgia, with $67,620, and South Carolina, with a prosthetist’s salary of $77,840 on the average.
In comparing the prosthetist salary by metropolitan area, Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio topped the list as the city pays these professionals an average of $97,990. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV area ranked second with an annual prosthetist’s pay of $91,230. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL and the Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI areas are also in the list with an average prosthetist’s salary of $87,670 and $86,790. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC area completed the top five list with a salary of $85,930.
Dental prosthetist salary
A dental prosthetist may also refer to a denturist or dental laboratory technicians. In 2012, their average pay, based on the salary of dental lab techs, is around $39,320 per year, with the average wage being $18.91. The lowest paid 10% of these technicians made around $21,330or less, while the highest paid 10% took home around $61,280 or more.
PayScale survey shows that the average wage of dental technician or a dental prosthetist in the US is around $17.20. Their hourly rate ranges between $11.04 and $22.76 with overtime pay ranging between $8.93 and $38.10. Bonuses may reach up to $1,500 per year, while profit sharing may range from $750 to $5,600.
Prosthetist salary in Canada
Salary.com reported that the median pay for a prosthetist in Canada is around C$77,610 annually, with the top 10% highest earning prosthetists earning C$97,708 or more and the lowest paid 10% taking home an average of C$57,521 or less.
Wowjobs.ca also showed in its salary search report that the average prosthetist’s salary is around $66,086 as of February 2014.
Glassdoor.com has a lower figure than the first two reports, with an estimated salary of C$61,000 for prosthetist working in Ontario, Canada.
Prosthetist salary in Australia
The median salary for prosthetist in Australia is around AU$67,563, according to PayScale. The annual pay ranges between AU$30,201 and AU$119,195, while bonuses may reach up to AU$10.174. This makes the total prosthetist’s salary around AU$36,065 to AU$160,534.
Prosthetist salary in the UK
According to myworldofwork.co.uk, the prosthetist’s salary is classified under the healthcare scientist pay bands. Healthcare scientists, who are in Band 5, earn between £21,388 and £27,901 per year. With experience, they can move on to Band 7 and earn around £40,558.
The National Careers Service reported that with experience, the average orthotist or prosthetist salary will likely be around Band 6, which means it’s between £25,783 and £34,530. If prosthetist chooses to become healthcare science consultants, they can make as much as £67,805 per year.
Prosthetist salary in South Africa
The starting prosthetist’s salary in South Africa ranges between R144,000 and R840,000, according to SA Career Focus. It changes depending on experience, employer, demographic area, and qualifications.
PayScale’s reports showed that dental technicians, or prosthetists, make an average of R123,000 per year.
How to become a prosthetist
To become a prosthetist, one must have a bachelor’s degree in prosthetics, orthotics or biomedical engineering. Prospects usually take courses in chemistry, biology, physics, applied prosthetics, engineering, and kinesiology. They also need to finish a year-long residency program accredited by the National Commission on Orthotics and Prosthetics Education (NCOPE). All states only accept certified prosthetists, those who passed the certification exam conducted by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. They can advance in their field by taking continuing education courses and completing certification requirements regularly.
Conclusion about prosthetist salary
The average prosthetist’s salary in 2011 was around $71,000, according to the BLS. This decreased to around $69,960 in 2012. That same year, the top earning 10% made around $111,030 or more, while the lowest paid 10% only took home around $34,150. Prosthetist salary is above average.