Orthopedic Technician Career

Individuals with injuries to joints and bones will not only be cared for by a physician, but an orthopedic technician as well. Those who pursue an orthopedic technician career will help care for those patients and provide them with necessary care information as well as implementing healing techniques, using tools, caring for machines that are used to treat these types of patients, and providing patient care throughout the healing process.

Job Description

As an orthopedic technician, you will assist orthopedic physicians who are treating patients with injuries and problems. This will include receiving orders from physicians as well as showing patients how to properly care for their injuries or use and maintain the tools required to assist healing. You will also care for the machines used to treat injuries like these, and you will sometimes operate them as well. Part of the job description may include following up with patients to determine how they are healing and working with physicians to evaluate and change or continue current treatment.

Orthopedic Technician Career Education and Training

To become an orthopedic technician, you will need specialized training through a college, a training program available through a medical setting under the supervision of a qualified orthopedic technician, or through other means, such as the military. While most states do not require orthopedic technicians to be certified, having that certification could ensure a better position and higher pay. Those who want to pursue this career need an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology as well as the ability to utilize medical terminology. You will also need to be trained to utilize and care for machines used in treating patients.

Costs Involved

Compared to other professions, the costs of pursuing an orthopedic technician career are relatively low. For instance, Thomas Edison State College requires individuals to have 12 credit hours to graduate, with each credit hour priced at $250 for a total of $3000. The cost of textbooks for most courses will run between $300 and $450, but students can minimize those costs by renting textbooks instead of purchasing. Certification is available through the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technicians and will cost about $375.

Funding and Scholarships for an Orthopedic Technician Career

There are a variety of funding opportunities and scholarships that can assist you in pursuing a career as an orthopedic technician. For instance, Allied Healthcare offers up an annual scholarship for students in a variety of medical training programs, and winners can receive up to $4000. American Medical Technologies offers five $500 scholarships per year for medical technologists in training. Numerous other scholarships are available as well as government grants and loans. Individuals can visit their school’s financial aid office to learn more about what is available.

Job Opportunities

Orthopedic technicians can obtain a job in numerous healthcare settings, from private general clinics to orthopedic clinics, hospitals and some research facilities. With most jobs in the medical career growing quickly, individuals should have no problem obtaining employment in one of these settings. While some healthcare clinics or hospitals will train individuals who have a high school diploma to perform orthopedic technician duties, having the proper education, training and certification will make it easier to find employment.

Salary for Orthopedic Technicians

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, health technicians and technologists earn a median salary of about $18 per hour, or $38,000 per year. Those living in more populated areas and those with more experience can earn as much as $62,000 per year. The National Association of Orthopedic Technicians reports that orthopedic technologists or technicians who become certified could earn an average of about $10,000 per year more than those who are not certified.

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that orthopedic technician jobs, as well as other medical-related assistant, technician or technologist jobs, will grow faster than most other jobs. Healthcare clinics and hospitals continue to attempt to cut costs by having technicians and technologists perform patient care tasks that physicians previously performed. This increases the need for these types of professionals. Jobs in the medical field almost always grow faster than most other industries and physicians as well as nurses need continued support to care for their patients properly. These factors give anyone who is pursuing an orthopedic technician career a better chance of finding employment.

For individuals who are great with people and dedicated to helping individuals heal and maintain their health, an orthopedic technician career is a sound choice. With an analytical mind, a knack for science and physiology, and the ability to work well with others, you can quickly obtain the needed education to launch your orthopedic technician career.