In May 2008, 12,930 medical appliance technicians worked in the field of medical assembly in the U.S. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts the demand for technicians will grow by 9 percent through 2016, resulting in the creation of 1,200 jobs.
The primary function of workers in the medical assembly field is to build, fit, repair and maintain devices used to increase mobility or heal injuries of the human body. Products created by medical assemblers include artificial limbs and splints.
There are a number of job titles that fall under the heading of medical assembly, including medical appliance technicians, appliance fitters and orthotics technicians. All job titles typically perform similar duties and vary based upon the employer's structure.
Typically, medical appliance technicians work 40-hour weeks with only daylight, weekday hours.
Medical assembly jobs require the use of machinery such as grinders, buffers, riveters and welding torches. Ordinarily, they create objects to the specifications of orthotists or prosthetists who work with patients, meaning they have little contact with the public.
As of 2009, there were only four educational programs for medical assembly work in the U.S., meaning the majority of assemblers receive on-the-job training. Most employers prefer to hire workers with high school diplomas or GEDs.
In May 2008, medical appliance technicians averaged an annual salary of $38,640.
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