Audiologists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of
hearing problems. Workers in related occupations include occupational
therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, psychologists, recreational
therapists, rehabilitation counselors, and
Employment growth will be spurred by the expanding population in older
age groups that are prone to medical conditions that result in hearing
More than half worked in health care facilities; many others were
employed by educational services.
A master’s degree in audiology has been the standard credential; however,
a clinical doctoral degree is becoming more common for new entrants and is
expected to become the new standard for the profession.
Audiologists work with people who have hearing, balance, and related ear
problems. They examine individuals of all ages and identify those with the
symptoms of hearing loss and other auditory, balance, and related sensory and
neural problems. They then assess the nature and extent of the problems and help
the individuals manage them. Using audiometers, computers, and other testing
devices, they measure the loudness at which a person begins to hear sounds, the
ability to distinguish between sounds, and the impact of hearing loss on an
individual’s daily life. In addition, audiologists use computer equipment to
evaluate and diagnose balance disorders. Audiologists interpret these results
and may coordinate them with medical, educational, and psycho-logical
information to make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment.
Hearing disorders can result from a variety of causes including trauma at birth,
viral infections, genetic disorders, exposure to loud noise, certain
medications, or aging. Treatment may include examining and cleaning the ear
canal, fitting and dispensing hearing aids, and fitting and programming cochlear
implants. Audiologic treatment also includes counseling on adjusting to hearing
loss, training on the use of hearing instruments, and teaching communication
strategies for use in a variety of environments. For example, they may provide
instruction in listening strategies. Audiologists also may recommend, fit, and
dispense personal or large area amplification systems and alerting devices.
In audiology (hearing) clinics, audiologists may independently develop and carry
out treatment programs. They keep records on the initial evaluation, progress,
and discharge of patients. In other settings, audiologists may work with other
health and education providers as part of a team in planning and implementing
services for children and adults, from birth to old age. Audiologists who
diagnose and treat balance disorders often work in collaboration with
physicians, and physical and occupational therapists.
Some audiologists specialize in work with the elderly, children, or
hearing-impaired individuals who need special treatment programs. Others develop
and implement ways to protect workers’ hearing from on-the-job injuries. They
measure noise levels in workplaces and conduct hearing protection programs in
factories, as well as in schools and communities.
Audiologists who work in private practice also manage the business aspects of
running an office, such as developing a patient base, hiring employees, keeping
records, and ordering equipment and supplies.
A few audiologists conduct research on types of—and treatment for—hearing,
balance, and related disorders. Others design and develop equipment or
techniques for diagnosing and treating these disorders.
Audiologists usually work at a desk or table in clean, comfortable
surroundings. The job is not physically demanding but does require attention to
detail and intense concentration. The emotional needs of patients and their
families may be demanding. Most full-time audiologists work about 40 hours per
week, which may include weekends and evenings to meet the needs of patients.
Some work part time. Those who work on a contract basis may spend a substantial
amount of time traveling between facilities.
Audiologists held about 10,000 jobs in 2004. More than half of all jobs were
in offices of physicians or other health practitioners, including audiologists;
in hospitals; and in outpatient care centers. About 1 in 7 jobs was in
educational services, including elementary and secondary schools. Other jobs for
audiologists were in health and personal care stores, including hearing aid
stores; scientific research and development services; and state and local
A small number of audiologists were self-employed in private practice. They
provided hearing health care services in their own offices or worked under
contract for schools, health care facilities, or other establishments.
Audiologists are regulated in 49 States; all require that individuals have at
least a master’s degree in audiology. However, a clinical doctoral degree is
expected to become the new standard, and several States are currently in the
process of changing their regulations to require the Doctor of Audiology (AU.D.)
degree or equivalent. A passing score on the national examination on audiology
offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service also is
needed. Other requirements typically are 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical
experience and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience.
Forty-one states have continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.
An additional examination and license is required in order to dispense hearing
aids in some states. Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurers generally
require practitioners to be licensed to qualify for reimbursement.
In 2005, there were 24 master’s degree programs and 62 clinical doctoral
programs offered at accredited colleges and universities. Graduation from an
accredited program may be required to obtain a license. Requirements for
admission to programs in audiology include courses in English, mathematics,
physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and communication. Graduate course work
in audiology includes physiology; anatomy; physics; genetics; normal and
abnormal communication development; auditory, balance, and neural systems
assessment and treatment; diagnosis and treatment; pharmacology; and ethics.
Audiologists can acquire the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology
(CCC-A) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To earn a
CCC-A, a person must have a graduate degree and 375 hours of supervised clinical
experience, complete a 36-week post-graduate clinical fellowship, and pass the
Praxis Series examination in audiology, administered by the Educational Testing
Service. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as of
2007, audiologists will need to have a bachelor’s degree and complete 75 hours
of credit toward a doctoral degree in order to seek certification. As of 2012,
audiologists will have to earn a doctoral degree in order to be certified.
Audiologists may also be certified through the American Board of Audiology.
Applicants must earn a master’s or doctoral degree in audiology from a
regionally accredited college or university, achieve a passing score on a
national examination in audiology, and demonstrate that they have completed a
minimum of 2,000 hours of mentored professional practice in a two-year period
with a qualified audiologist. Certificants must apply for renewal every three
years. They must demonstrate that they have earned 45 hours of approved
continuing education within the three-year period. Beginning in 2007, all
applicants must earn a doctoral degree in audiology.
Audiologists should be able to effectively communicate diagnostic test
results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments in a manner easily understood by
their patients. They must be able to approach problems objectively and provide
support to patients and their families. Because a patient’s progress may be
slow, patience, compassion, and good listening skills are necessary.
Employment of audiologists is expected to grow about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the year 2014. Because hearing loss is strongly
associated with aging, rapid growth in older population groups will cause the
number of persons with hearing and balance im-pairments to increase markedly.
Medical advances are also improving the survival rate of premature infants and
trauma victims, who then need assessment and possible treatment. Greater
awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of hearing
disorders in infants also will increase employment. Most states now require that
all newborns be screened for hearing loss and receive appropriate early
Employment in educational services will increase along with growth in elementary
and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education
students. The number of audiologists in private practice will rise due to the
increasing demand for direct services to individuals as well as increasing use
of contract services by hospitals, schools, and nursing care facilities.
Growth in employment of audiologists will be moderated by limitations on
insurance reimbursements for the services they provide. Additionally, increased
educational requirements may limit the pool of workers entering the profession
and any resulting higher salaries may cause doctors to hire more lower paid ear
technicians to perform the functions that audiologists held in doctor’s offices.
Only a few job openings for audiologists will arise from the need to replace
those who leave the occupation, because the occupation is small.
Median annual earnings of audiologists were $51,470 in May 2004. The middle
50 percent earned between $42,160 and $62,210. The lowest 10 percent earned less
than $34,990, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,990.
According to a 2004 survey by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association,
the median annual salary for full-time certified audiologists who worked on a
calendar-year basis, generally 11 or 12 months annually, was $56,000. For those
who worked on an academic year basis, usually 9 or 10 months annually, the
median annual salary was $53,000. The median starting salary for certified
audiologists with one to three years of experience was $45,000 on a
Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess,
diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive communication,
voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders. Speech-language
pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds, or cannot
produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as
stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh
voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish
to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with
cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem
solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.
Employment is expected to grow because the expanding population in older age
groups is prone to medical conditions that result in speech, language, and
swallowing problems. In 2005, 47 states required speech-language pathologists to
be licensed if they worked in a health care setting, and all states required a
master’s degree or equivalent. A passing score on the national examination on
speech-language pathology, offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational
Testing Service, is needed as well. Other requirements typically are 300 to 375
hours of supervised clinical experience and 9 months of postgraduate
professional clinical experience. Median annual earnings of speech-language
pathologists were $52,410 in May 2004.
Additional Audiologist job resources are presented in the paperback
Health Care Job Explosion! 4th edition by Dennis V. Damp for this
occupational group. Resources include Job Ads, Job Hotlines, Job Fairs,
Placement services, Associations, Books, Directories and Internet (Web) Sites.
Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can
purchase a copy for $19.95 plus shipping with all major credit cards from our
toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders Only). Also available at all major
bookstores. Also explore jobs at VA hospitals and other
federal government employment options.
Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA) - 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite
2200, Chicago, IL 60611; 866/493-5544. (http://www.audiologist.org,
email@example.com) Organization of
dispensing audiologists. By 2012 a professional audiologist will be required to
have an AuD degree (a 4-year postgraduate program) to be certified and to
practice. They offer mentoring during the 3rd year. The 4th year consists of an
American Academy of Audiology (AAA) - 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 300,
Reston, VA 20190; 800-AAA-2336, 703-790-8466. (http://www.audiology.org)
Student section has listing of contacts at all audiology programs in the US,
“What Students Should Know and Look for when Seeking to Become an Audiologist”
academic curriculum, and clinical training. Directory of audiologists available
only to members; student membership $103.
Educational Audiology Association (EAA) - 13153 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Suite 105,
Tampa FL 33618; 800/460-7EAA (7322). (http://edaud.org,
EAA@L-TGraye.com) An international organization of audiologists and related
professionals who deliver hearing services to children, particularly in
National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) - 10801
Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852; 800/498-2071 (www.nsslha.org,
firstname.lastname@example.org) Sponsors job fair at the
ASHA national convention for both masters and doctoral programs.
Resume Writing Service - Professionally package your health care resume
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Health Care Jobs, Dispensing Optician Jobs, Medical Jobs, Nursing Jobs