Audiologists are often members of a team of health professionals that includes speech pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and physicians. Some work primarily with geriatric patients while others specialize in working with children.
Audiologists generally work full-time. Since they must accomodate patients' schedules, they sometimes have to work weekends and evenings. Some are self-employed.
All graduate programs are not equal. Do some research before you choose one since some states will not give a license to someone who has not graduated from a audiology program that is accredited by The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Furthermore, if you do not attend an accredited program, you will not be eligible to apply for ASHA's Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). You can check the licensing requirements of the state in which you want to practice before you select a school. Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website to see the state-by-state directory of licensing requirements and contact information.
ASHA offers voluntary certification. The Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) is identical to some states' licensure requirements. To be eligible to apply, one needs to have completed an AuD and passed the Praxis Exam in audiology, a national test administered by the Education Testing Service (ETS). Alternatively, one can get certified by the American Board of Audiologists (ABA). Applicants must have a doctorate degree and pass a national exam. ABA also offers specialty certification in cochlear implants and in pediatric audiology.
In addition to your formal training, you will need other skills you won't learn in school. To be a successful audiologist you must have good communication skills and be able to approach problems objectively. You must be patient and compassionate.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much audiologists currently earn in your city.
A Day in an Audiologist's Life:
On a typical day an audiologist will:
- identify, through examination, auditory problems that can affect hearing and balance
- use various instruments to measure the loudness at which a person begins to hear sounds, the ability to distinguish between sounds, and the nature and extent of hearing loss
- interpret examination results and determine course of treatment
- administer treatment
- assess effectiveness of treatment and change plan as necessary
- recommend, fit and dispense hearing aids
- provide fitting and tuning of cochlear implants and provide the necessary rehabilitation for adjustment to listening with implant amplification systems
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Audiologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos085.htm (visited September 1, 2012)
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Audiologists, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/29-1181.00 (visited September 1, 2012).