The Australian Workforce

AOPA is the employment advertiser of choice in the field of orthotics and prosthetics due to our significant coverage of the profession. Therefore, AOPA has an excellent understanding of the changing employment opportunities in Australia.

Australian practitioner numbers

The 2006 Australian census documented 345 orthotist/prosthetists in Australia. This represents a very low per capita ratio – much lower than that in other developed countries. There does not, however, appear to be a significant number of job vacancies. This discrepancy is thought to be due to the different levels of service provided by Australian orthotist/prosthetists compared to overseas, generally describing an under-serviced population due to lack of available services and funding. These discrepancies are also seen between Australian states, with states varying from having a per capita ratio of approximately 1 practitioner per 120,000 population to 1 practitioner per 55,000 population (AOPA workforce data, 2010).

AOPA has completed a detailed workforce analysis, as part of an approved research project through La Trobe University Human Research and Ethics Committee.

where do orthotist/prosthetists work?

Orthotist/prosthetists may forge clinical careers in major hospitals, private orthotic/prosthetic facilities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO). A number of practitioners also work in academia and research areas in major tertiary hospitals and universities. Within the clinical setting an orthotist/prosthetist is part of the allied health team and will be found within the allied health department and rehabilitation departments of major hospitals. See the Employment Opportunities section for specific career opportunities.

How can I gain employment in Australia?

To work as an orthotist/prosthetist within Australia, you must have an appropriate tertiary qualification. Please review the details in the Working in Australia section.

In Australia, gaining employment in particular metropolitan cities can be difficult. Melbourne is particularly saturated and competitive at the graduate level due to the only tertiary institution being located in Melbourne.

There are often significantly greater employment opportunities outside of metropolitan Victoria, particularly interstate and in regional and remote communities. Employment in Australia’s regional and remote communities often offers more diverse clinical experiences and greater learning opportunities. AOPA encourages practitioners to consider the significant learning and lifestyle opportunities within Australia’s regional and rural communities.