Skip to main content Skip to footer

How to become an orthotic support worker

You can become an orthotic support worker by applying for a vacancy on our recruitment website or doing a Modern Apprenticeship.

What is an orthotic support worker?

Orthotic support workers work with orthotists to design, make and fit orthotic devices for patients.

Orthoses are artificial or mechanical aids that provide support or assistance to a weakened part of the body. They can be made from titanium, thermoplastics, leather or carbon fibre.

Starting your career as an orthotic support worker

Choosing subjects at school

To become an orthotic support worker, you'll need a good standard of education. There are no specific entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • Engineering Science
  • English
  • Maths

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship will help you get the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to reach your career goal.

Learn about the Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering.

Get to know the role

As an orthotic support worker, you'll use the orthotist's designs and specifications to make orthoses using the most suitable materials. You will also be responsible for maintaining and repairing them.

You’ll work with people of all ages with a range of conditions including:

  • arthritis
  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • spina bifida
  • scoliosis

Tasks include: 

  • manufacture, maintain, and repair orthotic devices
  • support and develop manufacturing processes to meet quality standards
  • make sure work areas and equipment are maintained and kept clean
  • order materials and equipment

You’ll also be expected to keep up to date with the latest manufacturing techniques and technologies.

You'll need these skills:

  • caring 
  • communicating
  • creativity
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

Orthotic support workers work with other healthcare professionals, including: 

  • orthotists
  • occupational therapists
  • nurses
  • doctors
  • podiatrists
  • physiotherapists

You could work in: 

  • hospitals
  • private clinics

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment.

You may also be encouraged while in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Career development

Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university and study to become a registered orthotist.

Navigate page

Explore careers

Explore careers

Discover the skills and qualifications you’ll need for each role and what the work will be like.

Explore careers

Help with recruitment

We'll guide you through the recruitment process, from applying online to interview preparation.

Help with recruitment