Education and Training Requirements

High School

High school students should take courses that relate to health, the human body, and movement. Courses such as anatomy, biology, physics, and health will provide you with a good basis for work in pedorthics. Also, communication courses will prepare you for dealing with a team of medical professionals and patients on a day-to-day basis. Some areas may only require a high school diploma and related experience to enter the field of pedorthics; however, most employers will require at least some college or university training.

Postsecondary Training

Many jobs in the field of pedorthics require at least some college-level course work, but, ideally, a two-year degree. Appropriate fields of study include courses in medicine, engineering, biomechanics, anatomy, and physical therapy.

Other Education or Training

The Pedorthic Footcare Association sponsors several national and regional seminars each year. These seminars focus on specialty areas within pedorthics, such as diabetes, sports-related injuries, and geriatrics. These events provide many educational opportunities for the beginning pedorthist and allow the beginner to meet and talk with experienced pedorthists.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Pedorthics (ABC) offers certification for people in this field. Applicants must hold a high school diploma, GED, or college degree; complete a pre-certification education course approved by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education; and have 1,000 hours of pedorthic patient care experience.

Even if a beginning pedorthist does not choose to become certified, he or she should get hands-on experience as an intern in a hospital, clinic, or agency with opportunities in pedorthics. Shoe stores that sell custom-fit and therapeutic shoes are another option for practical experience.

A small, but growing number of states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington require pedorthists to be licensed. Prospective pedorthists who live in one of these states should contact their state's department of labor to learn more about licensing requirements.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Secondary education or certification is not required to become a pedorthist, but an internship and certification and training are highly recommended to become a competitive applicant. Pedorthists need knowledge of anatomy, pathology, biomechanics which involves human locomotion, gait analysis, kinesiology, physiotherapy and other related fields.

To be a successful pedorthist, you need an artistic perception, good communication skills, the ability to adapt to changing situations, working knowledge of measurements, and basic math skills.