By Emily Delzell
Data from the Washington, DC-based American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) in September indicate a number of health trends are continuing to increase demand for O&P practitioners and that robust employment opportunities continue in this sector, despite an overall stagnant 4.9% unemployment rate reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Health trends contributing to this demand include increased rates of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, as well as a growing aging population that has a high demand for O&P services. AAOP also found 24% of O&P practitioners are aged 55 years and older and will likely retire in the next decade, fueling a need for more students to enter O&P programs.
Average compensation within the O&P profession ranges from $39,500 to $75,300 annually, according to the AAOP data.