How to Become an Orthopaedic Technician

How to Become an Orthopaedic Technician: Career Path Guide

To become an orthopaedic technician, you need to begin by determining if a career in this field is right for you.


Are you interested in a career that allows you to work within a team of healthcare professionals? Are you interested in helping patients recover from injuries? Does working in a hospital or clinical setting appeal to you?


If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then a career as an orthopaedic technician may be well suited for you!


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as an orthopaedic technician. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become an Orthopaedic Technician

To become an orthopaedic technician you typically need to earn certificate in orthopedic technician training from a technical school or community college. These programs typically take 1-2 years to complete, and may include a clinical practicum opportunity for hands-on training.


Coursework in orthopaedic technician training programs typically cover anatomy, the musculoskeletal and nervous system, medical terminology, joint and muscle assessment, x-rays and patient care documentation, as well as other topics.


In order to ensure students have a firm grasp of concepts, as well as gain practical clinical skills, Orthopaedic technician programs use a variety of teaching methods, such as classroom discussions, research, lectures, lab work and clinical education.




Orthopaedic Technician Job Description

Orthopaedic technicians work closely with orthopedic surgeons in order to care for patients with injured joints and bones. Orthopaedic technicians instruct patients in the care of injuries and the use of crutches. They also apply and remove casts as well as assist surgeons in the operating room.



Orthopaedic Technician Job Duties

• Fit patients for and apply pre-operative braces, crutches and casts

• Remove sutures, casts and splints

• Assist with orthopedic procedures such as wound care, aspirations, fracture reductions and minor surgical procedures

• Instruct patients on cast care and the use of orthopedic appliances

• Prepare or setup traction, as requested by the physician

• Coordinate the collection of patient data



Who Hires Orthopaedic Technicians? Where Do They Work?

Orthopaedic technicians work in settings such as including orthopedic clinics, orthopedic physician's offices or hospital emergency rooms.



Orthopaedic Technician Salary: How Much Do They Earn?

The salary level of orthopaedic technicians can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, their specific job responsibilities and many others.


There is no specific salary data available for orthopaedic technicians unfortunately, although we can get an accurate idea of their salary level by looking at the salary level of the related occupation Licensed Practical Nurse.


Orthopaedic Technician Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Licensed Practical Nurses occupational group earned an average wage of between $22.85 and $29.90 per hour.


Orthopaedic Technician Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of workers in the Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses occupational group was $40,380 (2010 figures). 





Careers Similar to Orthopaedic Technician

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Orthopaedic Technician, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Athletic Therapist

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Occupational Therapist


Registered Nurse



References: How to Become an Orthopaedic Technician

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an orthopaedic technician.



Occupations in Alberta:Prosthetic and Orthotic Technician.” (March 20, 2014). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 6, 2020.

Healthcare:Orthotists and Prosthetists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved January 6, 2020.

Health Care Programs:Orthopaedic Technician.” (n.d.). Westervelt College website. Retrieved January 6, 2020.



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Scholarships for Becoming an Orthopaedic Technician

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming an Orthopaedic Technician can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming an Orthopaedic Technician: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an orthopaedic technician. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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