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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Appliance Technicians in Mesquite, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for medical appliance technicians in the Mesquite, Texas area. About 980 people are currently employed as medical appliance technicians in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to about 1,170 people employed. 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.

Income for medical appliance technicians is about $14 hourly or $30,480 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $34,460 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental, people working as medical appliance technicians in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental nationally.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Mesquite area, including one within twenty-five miles of Mesquite where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical appliance technician. Medical appliance technicians usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas - Dallas, TX

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-9096. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is a small university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,461 students. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas has a bachelor's degree program in Orthotist/Prosthetist which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Mesquite, Texas

Mesquite, Texas
Mesquite, Texas photo by Justin Cozart

Mesquite is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 132,123, which has grown by 6.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mesquite, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Mesquite cost $155,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were constructed in Mesquite, down from one hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Mesquite are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 18.5% of Mesquite residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mesquite is 8.2%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mesquite residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God Christian Assembly, Central Assembly of God Church and Prairie Creek Bible Baptist Church are among the churches located in Mesquite. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mesquite is home to the Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame Museum and the Town East Centre as well as Mesquite Memorial Stadium and Tosch Park. Visitors to Mesquite can choose from Chet' s Electronic Lock & Repair, Big Town Inn and Classic Inn for temporary stays in the area.