Orthotics and Prosthetics:
Make a Career of Making a Difference

Career Outlook

A Career in Demand


Number of Americans
who will be 65 or older
by 20301

Small image of the United States of America


15.3 million Orange-colored up arrow.

New cases in the U.S. since 19802

Heart Disease

27% Orange-colored up arrow.

Projected increase in cases in U.S. women by 2030; the projected increase is 26 percent for men3


22.3% Orange-colored up arrow.

Increase in incidence since 19604

Practicing O&P Professionals

Pie chart showing the distribution of o&p professionals in each discipline.
labcoat icon    Practitoners
clipboard icon    Assistants
toolbox icon    Technicians
footprint icon    Pedorthists
drawing compass icon    Orthotic Fitters
measuring tape icon    Mastectomy Fitters
shoe icon    Therapeutic Shoe Fitters


Approximate percentage of O&P professionals who are 55 or older and likely to retire over the next 10 years. It is critical that more qualified students enter O&P programs to assure access to quality care for individuals with amputations and orthopedic impairments.

Average Total Compensation by Certification5

labcoat icon    Practitioners — $75,300
clipboard icon    Assistants — $43,000
toolbox icon    Technicians — $45,630
footprint icon    Pedorthists — $52,065
measuring tape icon drawing compass icon shoe icon
Fitters — $39,500

1NIH National Institute on Aging, "Dramatic changes in U.S. aging highlighted in new census, NIH report." 2014.
2CDC, "Annual Number (in Thousands) of New Cases of Diagnosed Diabetes among Adults Aged 18–79 Years, United States, 1980–2011." November 2013.
3Pandya A, et al., "More Americans Living Longer With Cardiovascular Disease Will Increase Costs While Lowering Quality Of Life." Health Affairs, October 2013.
4Flegal KM, et al., "Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass inde x among US adults, 1999–2010." Journal of the American Medical Association, 2012.
5American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), 2013 Compensation and Benefits Report. Note: Compensation varies based on factors such as geographic location, years of experience, practice setting, and benefits.