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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Appliance Technicians in San Diego, California

Medical appliance technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the San Diego, California area. About 1,300 people are currently employed as medical appliance technicians in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 23% to 1,600 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical appliance technicians are expected to grow by about 10.9%. Medical appliance technicians generally construct, fit, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, artificial limbs, and other surgical and medical appliances.

Medical appliance technicians earn approximately $18 per hour or $37,810 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,460 annually. Medical appliance technicians earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental generally in California and more than people in the Medical and Dental category nationally.

The San Diego area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can get a degree as a medical appliance technician. Medical appliance technicians usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn to be a medical appliance technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Appliance Technician

Medical Appliance Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, artificial limbs, and other surgical and medical appliances.

Medical appliance technicians repair and maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs and surgical supports, according to given requirements. They also bend and shape fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components. Equally important, medical appliance technicians have to drill and tap holes for rivets and glue and rivet components together to fashion prosthetic or orthotic devices. They are often called upon to read prescriptions or specifications to establish the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools that will be required. They are expected to construct or receive casts or impressions of patients' torsos or limbs for use as cutting and fabrication patterns. Finally, medical appliance technicians instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices.

Every day, medical appliance technicians are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for medical appliance technicians to service and repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances. They are often called upon to instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices. They also mix pigments to match patients' skin coloring, in line with formulas, and apply mixtures to orthotic or prosthetic devices. Somewhat less frequently, medical appliance technicians are also expected to lay out and mark dimensions of components, using templates and precision measuring instruments.

Medical appliance technicians sometimes are asked to make orthotic or prosthetic devices, using materials such as thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, metal alloys and leather, and hand and power tools. They also have to be able to take patients' body or limb measurements for use in device construction and test medical supportive devices for proper alignment and biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures. And finally, they sometimes have to drill and tap holes for rivets and glue and rivet components together to fashion prosthetic or orthotic devices.

Like many other jobs, medical appliance technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Appliance Technician Training

Grossmont College - El Cajon, CA

Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Dr, El Cajon, CA 92020-1799. Grossmont College is a large college located in El Cajon, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,227 students. Grossmont College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Orthotist/Prosthetist which graduated five, six, and zero students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Diego, California

San Diego, California
San Diego, California photo by FlickreviewR

San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.