AUDIOLOGISTS are involved in the study of normal and impaired hearing, prevention of hearing loss, identification of hearing problems, and rehabilitation of persons with hearing impairment. Audiologists identify the severity of hearing, balance, and related problems. They use audiometers and testing devices to measure the nature and extent of hearing loss. They interpret results and determine a course of treatment. This may include fitting a hearing aid or other device, and auditory training or instruction in speech or lip reading. Audiologists keep records on the evaluation, progress, and release of clients. Audiologists may conduct research on types of hearing, balance, and related disorders.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $67,000 average per year ($32.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (12,900 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.5% per year)
Most states require AUDIOLOGISTS to be licensed and have a master's degree or equivalent. They also need 300-375 hours of supervised clinical experience, a passing score on a national examination, and nine months of post-graduate professional experience. Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurers require a practitioner to be licensed to qualify for reimbursement. University course work includes anatomy, physiology, basic science, physics, math, genetics, normal and abnormal communication development, and audiologic rehabilitation. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as of 2007, audiologists will need a bachelor's degree and complete 75 hours of credit toward a doctoral degree in order to seek certification. As of 2012, audiologists will need a doctoral degree in order to be certified.