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

Medical appliance technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Plano, Texas area. About 980 people are currently employed as medical appliance technicians in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 20% to about 1,170 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.

Income for medical appliance technicians is about $14 hourly or $30,480 annually on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,460 annually. Earnings for medical appliance technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental in Texas and better than general Medical and Dental category earnings nationally.

There are seventy-nine schools of higher education in the Plano area, including one within twenty-five miles of Plano where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical appliance technician. Given that the most common education level for medical appliance technicians is some college courses, 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

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: Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas photo by Jmcstrav

Plano is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 267,480, which has grown by 20.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Plano, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Plano are valued at $229,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Plano, down from five hundred forty-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Plano are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 53.3% of Plano residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Plano is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Plano residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Potters House Assembly of God Church, Central Baptist Church and Preston Meadow Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Plano. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Plano is home to the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the The Shops at Willow Bend as well as Enfield Park and Buckhorn Park. Shopping malls in the area include Preston Shepard Place Shopping Center, Preston Towne Crossing Shopping Center and Collin Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Plano can choose from Amerisuites Dallas Plano North, Best Western Park Suites Hotel and AmeriSuites Plano for temporary stays in the area.