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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Appliance Technicians in Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical appliance technicians. There are currently 1,300 working medical appliance technicians in California; this should grow by 23% to 1,600 working medical appliance technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical appliance technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.9% over the next eight years. Medical appliance technicians generally construct, fit, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, artificial limbs, and other surgical and medical appliances.

A person working as a medical appliance technician can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $37,810 per year on average in California and about $16 hourly or $34,460 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for medical appliance technicians are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental in California, and better than the overall Medical and Dental category nationally.

The Santa Clara area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Clara include:

  • Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Appliance Technician Training

West Valley College - Saratoga, CA

West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070-5698. West Valley College is a large college located in Saratoga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,585 students. West Valley College has a two to four year program in Orthotist/Prosthetist.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.