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Become A Medical Assembler

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Working As A Medical Assembler

  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • $44,397

    Average Salary

What Does A Medical Assembler Do

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair appliances and devices, including dentures, eyeglasses, and prosthetics.

Duties

Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians typically do the following:

  • Follow detailed work orders and prescriptions
  • Determine which materials and tools will be needed
  • Bend, form, and shape fabric or material
  • Polish and shape appliances and devices, using hand or power tools
  • Adjust appliances or devices to allow for a more natural look or to improve function
  • Inspect the final product for quality and accuracy
  • Repair damaged appliances and devices

In small laboratories and offices, technicians may handle every phase of production. In larger ones, technicians may be responsible for only one phase of production, such as polishing, measuring, or testing.

Dental laboratory technicians use impressions, or molds, of a patient’s teeth to create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental appliances. They work closely with dentists, but have limited contact with patients.

Dental laboratory technicians work with small hand tools, such as files and polishers. They work with many different materials, including wax, plastic, and porcelain, to make prosthetic appliances. In some cases, technicians use computer programs to create appliances or to get impressions sent from a dentist’s office.

Dental laboratory technicians can specialize in one of six areas: orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, implants, or ceramics. Technicians may have different job titles, depending on their specialty. For example, technicians who make porcelain and acrylic restorations, such as veneers and bridges, are called dental ceramists

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. They are also commonly known as manufacturing opticians, optical mechanics, or optical goods workers.

Although they make some lenses by hand, ophthalmic laboratory technicians often use automated equipment. Some technicians manufacture lenses for optical instruments, such as telescopes and binoculars. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians should not be confused with dispensing opticians, who work with customers to select eyewear and may prepare work orders for ophthalmic laboratory technicians.

Medical appliance technicians construct, fit, and repair medical supportive devices, including arch supports, facial parts, and foot and leg braces.

Medical appliance technicians use many different types of materials, such as metal, plastic, and leather, to create a variety of medical devices for patients who need them because of a birth defect, an accident, disease, amputation, or the effects of aging. For example, some medical appliance technicians make hearing aids.

Orthotic and prosthetic technicians are medical appliance technicians who create orthoses (braces, supports, and other devices) and prostheses (replacement limbs and facial parts). These technicians work closely with orthotists or prosthetists.

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How To Become A Medical Assembler

Dental or ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training.

Education

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. There are some postsecondary programs available at community colleges or technical or vocational schools in dental laboratory technology and ophthalmic laboratory technology, but these are not common. High school students interested in becoming dental or ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians should take courses in science, math, computer programming, and art.

Training

Most dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians learn their skills through on-the-job training. They usually begin as helpers in a laboratory and learn more advanced skills as they gain experience. For example, dental laboratory technicians may begin by pouring plaster into an impression to make a model. As they become more experienced, they may progress to more complex tasks, such as making porcelain crowns and bridges. Because all laboratories are different, the length of training varies.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians must pay attention to detail. Technicians must follow work orders and prescriptions accurately and precisely. In addition, they need to be able to recognize and correct any imperfections in their work.

Dexterity. Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians must work well with their hands because they use precise laboratory instruments.

Interpersonal skills. Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians need to be able to work effectively with others because they may be part of a team of technicians working on a single project. In addition, they need good communication skills to ensure safety when they work with hazardous materials.

Technical skills. Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians need to have an in depth knowledge of how different tools and materials work. They also must understand how to operate complex machinery. Some procedures are automated, so technicians must know how to operate and change the programs that run the machinery.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is not required for dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians or medical appliance technicians. However, technicians may choose to earn specialty certifications because they show professional competence in a specialized field.

The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) offers certification as a Certified Dental Technician (CDT). Certification is available in six specialty areas: orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, implants, and ceramics.

To qualify for the CDT, technicians must have at least 5 years of on-the-job training or experience in dental technology or have graduated from an accredited dental laboratory technician program. Candidates also must pass 3 exams within a period of 4 years.

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABCOP) offers certification for medical appliance technicians. Technicians are eligible for the certification exam after completing an accredited program or if they have 2 years of experience as a technician under the direct supervision of a certified medical appliance technician.

Advancement

In large laboratories, dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians may work their way up to a supervisory level and may train new technicians. Some may go on to own their own laboratory.

Medical appliance technicians can advance to become orthotists or prosthetists after completing additional formal education. These practitioners work with patients who need braces, prostheses, or related devices.

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Medical Assembler Jobs

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Medical Assembler Career Paths

Medical Assembler
Quality Control Inspector Assembly Technician Assembly Leader
Assembly Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Assembly Technician Assembly Operator
Cell Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Numerical Control Operator Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
Computer Numerical Controller Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Assembler Maintenance Technician Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Quality Assurance Inspector Production Superintendent
General Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Inspector
Lead Inspector
6 Yearsyrs
Personal Care Assistant Security Officer Operator
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Quality Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Operator Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Operator Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Operation Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Personal Care Assistant Specialist Operations Specialist
Operations Team Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Assembler Technician Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Assembly Technician Lead Technician Functional Lead
Process Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Assembly Technician Numerical Control Operator Quality Inspector
Production Team Leader
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Quality Control Inspector Quality Assurance Technician
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Maintenance Supervisor Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Inspector Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Material Handler Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Inspector Quality Technician Quality Engineer
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Process Technician Mechanical Assembler
Senior Assembler
5 Yearsyrs
Operator Technician Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Medical Assembler?

Medical Assembler Demographics

Gender

Female

50.9%

Male

41.1%

Unknown

7.9%
Ethnicity

White

47.6%

Asian

24.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.6%

Black or African American

5.9%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Hmong

33.3%

Spanish

23.2%

French

8.1%

Arabic

6.1%

Tagalog

5.1%

Somali

4.0%

Filipino

3.0%

Swahili

2.0%

Khmer

2.0%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Portuguese

1.0%

Choctaw

1.0%

Igbo

1.0%

Amharic

1.0%

Tigrinya

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Thai

1.0%
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Medical Assembler Education

Schools

Hennepin Technical College

15.6%

North Hennepin Community College

12.0%

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

8.4%

Saint Paul's College

7.8%

Saint Cloud State University

6.0%

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

4.8%

Fresno City College

4.2%

Century College

4.2%

Metropolitan State University

4.2%

North Shore Community College

4.2%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.6%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

3.6%

Evergreen Valley College

3.6%

Orange Coast College

3.0%

Normandale Community College

3.0%

San Jose State University

2.4%

Central Piedmont Community College

2.4%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

2.4%

Everest Institute

2.4%

Bristol Community College

2.4%
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Majors

Business

17.6%

Medical Assisting Services

8.8%

Computer Science

7.1%

Health Care Administration

6.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.7%

Nursing

5.4%

Liberal Arts

5.4%

Criminal Justice

5.4%

General Studies

4.8%

Accounting

4.8%

Pharmacy

4.3%

Education

3.4%

Psychology

3.4%

Biology

3.1%

Nursing Assistants

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Computer Technical Support

2.3%

Automotive Technology

2.0%

Management

2.0%

English

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

41.2%

Bachelors

22.2%

Associate

21.4%

Certificate

7.6%

Diploma

4.5%

Masters

2.4%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Medical Assembler

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  1. Small Medical Devices
  2. Inspect Parts
  3. Microscope
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Clean room position assembling small medical devices
  • Operate X-ray machine to inspect parts by looking at the image, and keep quality record, inspect parts using scope.
  • Performed repetitive tasks under a microscope by following detailed procedures in mass finishing and detail polishing to process components per specification.
  • Packaged medical products as well as worked in clean room environment sterilizing medical parts used in surgery.
  • Work order routers utilized to ensure company procedures followed.

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Top Medical Assembler Employers

Jobs From Top Medical Assembler Employers

Medical Assembler Videos

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Clean Room Assembly

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