Is becoming a prosthetist right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do prosthetists do?

Still unsure if becoming a prosthetist is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a prosthetist or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Prosthetist

Becoming a prosthetist involves the following steps:

  • Earn a Bachelor's Degree: While a bachelor's degree is not always required, many prosthetists hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as biology, kinesiology, or health sciences. Ensure that your chosen program includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and medical terminology.
  • Complete an Accredited Prosthetics Program: Enroll in and successfully complete a Master's Degree Program in Orthotics and Prosthetics. These programs are typically offered by universities or colleges and are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). The program typically includes didactic coursework, laboratory exercises, and clinical rotations to provide comprehensive training in prosthetic assessment, design, fabrication, and fitting.
  • Participate in Clinical Training: Prosthetics programs often include hands-on clinical rotations in prosthetic clinics, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers. During clinical training, you'll gain practical experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced prosthetists. Clinical rotations provide opportunities to develop essential skills in patient assessment, prosthetic design, fabrication techniques, and patient care.
  • Obtain Certification: While certification is not always required, becoming certified can enhance your credentials and demonstrate your competency as a prosthetist (see below).
  • Gain Experience: Upon completing your education and obtaining certification, gain experience by working in prosthetic clinics, hospitals, or rehabilitation centers. This hands-on experience will further develop your skills and expertise in prosthetic assessment, design, fabrication, fitting, and patient care.
  • Continuing Education: Stay updated on advances in prosthetic technology, treatment modalities, and professional standards through continuing education and professional development activities. Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars, and pursue opportunities for specialized training or advanced certifications to expand your knowledge and skills in prosthetic care.

Prosthetists can obtain certification to demonstrate their competency and expertise in the field of prosthetics. Here are the key certifications available for prosthetists:

  • Certified Prosthetist (CP): The CP credential is offered by ABC and is the standard certification for prosthetists in the US. To become certified, individuals must complete a recognized prosthetics program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). They must also pass a rigorous certification exam that assesses their knowledge and skills in prosthetic assessment, design, fabrication, fitting, and patient care. Additionally, candidates must meet other eligibility requirements, such as completing a specified number of patient care hours and adhering to ethical standards.
  • State Licensure: In addition to national certification, some states require prosthetists to obtain licensure to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state but may include completing a specific education program, passing a state licensing exam, and fulfilling continuing education requirements. Prosthetists must adhere to state regulations and maintain licensure to practice legally in those states.
  • Other Certifications: While the CP credential is the primary certification for prosthetists, there may be additional certifications available for specialized areas of prosthetic practice. For example, prosthetists who specialize in certain areas, such as upper limb prosthetics, lower limb prosthetics, or microprocessor-controlled prosthetics, may pursue advanced certifications or specialized training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge in those areas. Additionally, some prosthetists may pursue certifications in related fields, such as orthotics or pedorthics, to expand their scope of practice and provide comprehensive orthotic and prosthetic care.