What Degree Do You Need to Be an Audiologist?

Home » Blog » Tips » What Degree Do You Need to Be an Audiologist?

What Degree Do You Need to Be an Audiologist?

A career as an audiologist may be right for you if you have a strong interest in healthcare and seek a flexible and varied work environment. Being an audiologist may be pretty rewarding since it offers an excellent employment outlook and earning potential, as well as the opportunity to assist people in better connecting with the world around them every day. We explain what an audiologist does and how to become one in this post, as well as answer some often asked questions, such as how long it takes to become an audiologist.

What Exactly Is Audiology?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), audiology is the study of hearing problems and losses, as well as their prevention and treatment. An audiologist may work with individuals to examine, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their hearing loss, according to the ASHA. Auditory brainstem implants, cochlear implants, hearing aids, and other hearing loss treatments are available. Patients with minor hearing loss may benefit from counseling or hearing aids to prevent further loss. Because audiology focuses on the inner ear, it also evaluates and treats balance and equilibrium issues. Audiologists have created a number of inner ear rehabilitation devices and treatments that can significantly improve the quality of life for people who suffer from vertigo or other balance disorders.

What Is the Role of an Audiologist?

An audiologist is a medical specialist who assists in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing, balance, and other ear-related issues. Examining the ear canals and eardrums, overseeing the removal of cerumen, and taking ear impressions are all important responsibilities of an audiologist. They recommend hearing aids and assist with fitting and programming. They perform audiological rehabilitation as well as give recommendations and provide hearing assistive technology solutions. They assess patients and assist them with nonmedical tinnitus management. Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears that isn’t caused by an underlying disease. Patients may be taught communication methods such as speech reading. They may also be in charge of determining how much emotional and mental stress a patient is under as a result of hearing loss.

An Audiologist’s Average Income 

An audiologist’s average annual pay is $82,806, with wages ranging from $32,000 to $155,000. Salaries vary widely depending on the audiologist’s level of expertise, geographic area, and work environment. Audiologists who work in hospitals or educational settings make much more money than those who work in doctor’s offices or specialty practices.

What Does It Take to Become an Audiologist?

The following are the basic steps of becoming an audiologist.

  • Work towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • Study for a Doctorate in Audiology.
  • Obtain your license.
  • Obtain certification.
  • Fill out job applications.

Work Towards a Bachelor’s Degree 

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to an audiology program. A Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders is required for admission to the doctor of audiology (AuD) programs. Some schools, however, will accept students with other majors if they have completed the essential requirements, such as biology, psychology, and statistics.

Study for a Doctorate in Audiology

Students must submit the relevant references and essays in order to be accepted into an audiology program. They must also achieve the program’s minimal GRE score, which is a standardized test that assesses students’ readiness for graduate study. Anatomy, physics, genetics, normal and abnormal communication development, pharmacology, diagnosis and therapy, physiology, and ethics are all included in graduate audiology studies. Clinical contexts, such as pediatrics, cochlear implants, and balance tests occupy a significant amount of time for students. Students spend their last year of studies in a clinical externship, where they work full-time in a clinical setting under the supervision of an experienced professional.

Obtain Licensure

Audiologists must be licensed by their respective states after completing their AuD degree. The standards for licensure vary by state, but most entail passing a written and/or practical examination. 

Obtain Certification

While certification is not required, it can increase your credibility in the profession and prove your abilities. The Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) or board certification from the American Academy of Audiology are two possible qualifications to pursue (AAA).

Fill Out Job Applications

Search for open audiology opportunities in your area once you’ve gotten your license. Audiologists can operate in a variety of settings, including private practices, clinics, hospitals, universities, and local education organizations. Determine the type of work environment you want to work in and look for open employment in that field. 

Certificate in Audiology and Speech and Hearing

  • Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
  • Sc. (Audiology)
  •  Sc. (Speech-Language Pathology)
  •  Bachelors of Special Education (Hearing Impairment) 
  • Diploma in Hearing Aid and Earmould Technology
  •  Ed (Special Education-Distance Mode)
  •  D. (Audiology)
  • D. (Speech-Language Pathology)
  • Communication Disorders Certificate Program

Audiologists Work in the Following Sectors/Industries

  • After completing an Audiology course, there are a variety of job options to consider. The following are some of the most popular industries for Audiologists to work in:
  • Hospitals
  • Diagnostic Centers
  • Health Care Centers
  • Emergency Care
  • Education 
  • Colleges 

Benefits of Working as an Audiologist

  • You will have the opportunity to assist individuals who are in need. 
  • Audiologists are in high demand, which means they can earn a lot of money

The Disadvantages of Being an Audiologist

  • It can be a stressful and time-consuming job. 
  • Audiologists are sometimes required to work long hours, which can be harmful to their health and induce stress.

Audiologists’ Working Environment 

  • About 13,700 people work as an audiologist.
  • The following are the largest employers of audiologists:
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapists’ offices, as well as audiologists’ offices, account for 26% of the total. 
  • Hospitals (state, local, and private) account for 24% of the total. 
  • 15% State, local, and private educational services 10% of the total.
  • Some audiologists work in a variety of settings. 
  • Registered nurses, audiology assistants (a type of medical assistant), and other healthcare personnel collaborate closely with audiologists.

Work Schedules for Audiologists

The majority of audiologists are full-time employees, with some working more than 40 hours per week. To accommodate the demands of patients, certain employees work weekends and evenings. Those employed on a contract basis may be required to commute between locations. 

An audiologist hired by a school district, for example, may be required to travel between schools to give services. 

What Is the Difference Between an ENT and an Audiologist?

Medical professionals (MDs) who specialize in nanotechnology (ear, nose, and throat) are known as ENT specialists. They can diagnose problems of the ear, nose, throat, and lower skull and undertake a wide range of operations and treatments. Audiologists are frequently seen in ENT offices, where they do hearing exams and dispense hearing aids.

What’s the Difference Between a Hearing Instrument Specialist and an Audiologist? 

(HIS)? 

Hearing instrument experts are skilled in conducting hearing tests and fitting (dispensing) hearing aids. Their job is more limited than that of audiologists, who are educated to assess the entire auditory system from the outer ear to the brain. Audiologists frequently collaborate with parapsychologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists) to diagnose and treat complex hearing issues, and they can also help with auditory rehabilitation after cochlear implants.

Audiologists Need to Have These Qualities

Communication abilities. Audiologists must clearly convey test results, diagnoses, and treatment recommendations to patients so that they are aware of their status and options. In terms of patient treatment, they may need to work in groups with other healthcare experts and education specialists.

Compassion. Audiologists assist patients who are frustrated or emotional as a result of hearing or balance issues. Patients and their families should be treated with empathy and assistance.

Skills in critical thinking. When assessing a patient’s hearing, audiologists must be able to focus and analyze each patient’s circumstance in order to provide the best treatment. When patients do not respond to initial treatment, they must be able to offer alternate options.

Patience. Audiologists must work with patients who may require a significant amount of time and care.

I possess problem-solving abilities :Audiologists must establish the causes of hearing and balance impairments, as well as the best treatment or treatments to address them.

Audiology Isn’t the Only Field Where You Can Work.

If you don’t want to spend the extra four years required to achieve an AuD, here are some other options to consider that will take less time to finish than an AuD program. 

Audiology Assistant – If you’re not quite ready to commit to a doctorate degree, working as an audiology assistant could be an excellent option. 

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, an audiology assistant works under the supervision of a certified audiologist, delivering services and care to patients as directed by the supervising audiologist. While most audiologist technician training programs require a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders or a related discipline, there are certain certification paths that do not.

Speech-Language Pathologist – A master’s degree is required for practicing as a speech pathologist, which is typically two years less training than an AuD. Working with people to overcome communication and swallowing difficulties could be a fulfilling speech pathology profession for you. Some people may want to work as child speech therapists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education is the major employer of speech pathologists, accounting for 38 percent of all speech pathologists. Speech pathology master’s programs, both online and part-time, make it easier than ever to get started in the area.

Speech Pathology Assistant — If an advanced degree isn’t in the cards right now, a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and a career as a speech pathology assistant may be an option. You may start a successful career as a speech-language pathology assistant in as little as four years, with several additional career opportunities if you decide to pursue an advanced degree. 

Occupational Therapist – If you want to help individuals improve their quality of life, but hearing loss or communication issues are not intriguing to you, working as an occupational therapist could be just what you’re searching for. 

Occupational therapists assist patients with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses in developing or recovering motor skills. An occupational therapist, like a speech-language pathologist, requires a master’s degree.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Audiology

Here are some of the most common questions about working as an audiologist. 

Is a Profession as an Audiologist in High Demand? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to rise at a rate of 16 percent between 2018 and 2028, significantly faster than the overall five percent growth rate. The aging baby boomer demographic and longer life spans have resulted in an increase in career opportunities. The demand for doctors who specialize in hearing loss and balance issues will grow as the population ages.

How Long Does It Take to Train as an Audiologist? 

After earning a bachelor’s degree, becoming an audiologist typically takes four years. A Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree, which takes four years to complete, is needed for these specialists. Before entering an AuD school, the majority of prospective audiologists have earned a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. 

An Audiologist Works in a Variety of Settings

The majority of audiologists work full-time, with some working more than 40 hours per week in doctor’s offices, offices with other specialists, hospitals, and educational institutions. 

Is Audiology a Decent Profession to Pursue? 

Audiology has been named one of the best careers in the medical field. The following are the main advantages of the profession:

  • Job security: As the population ages, more hearing and balance care are required.
  • Great working conditions: Audiology is generally less stressful than many other medical and healthcare careers.
  • Flexibility: Audiologists can work in a variety of environments. 
  • Fulfilling: Many audiologists find it quite rewarding to assist patients with hearing loss.

Conclusion

Is audiology a viable option for you? It all depends on how serious you are about working in this demanding industry. If you want to work in healthcare and have a strong desire to help others overcome hearing problems, audiology could be a good fit for you. If you want to work in a helping profession right away, the eight years it takes to finish the requisite bachelor’s and Ph.D. programs might not be the ideal choice. Finally, only you can decide whether or not a career in audiology is worthwhile for you.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.