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If you are looking for a career in the medical field that will be in demand for many years to come, look no further than audiology. In this article, we will be presenting you with everything there is to know about audiologist jobs.
You will get a chance to find out what these professionals do, how to become one, etc. Whether you are interested in becoming an audiologist or you are just intrigued by this profession, this article has you covered.
Let’s start with the basics.
About Audiologist Jobs
What Do Audiologists Do?
Before jumping into explaining what an audiologist is, it’s important to realize that there are different types of hearing care experts. Overall, there are ear doctors, hearing aid specialists, and audiologists.
According to the audiologist job description, doctors of audiology or audiologists are licensed professionals who work in hearing health care. These experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and hearing-related disorders in children and adults.
Although most audiologists have attained a doctor of audiology degree (Au.D), there are several other doctoral degrees within this field, such as Ph.D., Sc. D., etc. Audiologist jobs usually involve conducting hearing exams, treating hearing disorders and tinnitus, fitting, adjusting, and maintaining hearing aids, and carrying out speech and hearing rehabilitation programs.
Here are some of the most common auditory disorders:
- Autoimmune hearing loss
- Hearing loss due to infection such as HIV, herpes, syphilis, etc.
- Auditory neuropathy
- Hearing loss due to noise
- Ototoxicity (poisoning of the ear)
- Otosclerosis (hearing loss due to the hardening of the stirrups located in the middle ear)
- Hearing loss due to stroke
- Hearing loss due to trauma
- Imbalance and dizziness due to aging
- Autoimmune inner ear disease
- Bilateral vestibular hypofunction
- Perilymph fistula (defect or tear in the membrane that separates the middle ear from the inner ear), etc.
Audiology jobs are performed by those who specialize in fitting and recommending suitable hearing aid technology. These experts require board certification and state licensure.
Otolaryngologists specialize in treating and diagnosing illnesses of the nose, throat, mouth, and ears. They frequently refer their patients to audiologists regarding digital hearing aids, prescriptions, or counseling.
Here are the duties of an audiologist:
- Assess the patient’s examination results and diagnose issues
- Examine the patients who have balance or hearing problems
- Evaluate and administer treatments
- Provide complete treatment for tinnitus
- Dispense and fit hearing aids
- Advise patients and their families how to communicate and listen (e.g., via technology or lip reading)
- Record the progress of the patient
- Do extensive research on the causes and treatment of balance and hearing disorders
- Advise patients on how to prevent hearing loss
Audiologist Job Types
There are many different types of jobs in the audiology field for those who want to work in a specific area of practice. For instance, audiologists may opt to work in a balance clinic for vestibular disorders in pediatrics.
Other experts begin a group practice devoted solely to hearing implants such as bone conduction implants, cochlear implants, etc.
Pediatric audiologist jobs involve working with children and examining and treating any hearing-related issues they may have. Pediatric audiologists perform various hearing tests to determine the reasons behind hearing loss and its extent in children of all ages (from babies to teens).
Conversely, clinical audiologist jobs involve working with patients of various ages who have speech, language, or balance-related disorders that are a direct result of hearing loss. These experts identify and evaluate hearing issues, rehabilitate patients with hearing loss, and work with their patients to successfully prevent any further damage.
Of course, specializing in any of these fields often requires additional training. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that more than 70% of audiologists are employed in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, audiology clinics (reserved for clinical audiologist jobs), and group or private practices. Also, 10% are employed in government departments and schools. The remaining 20% work in personal and healthcare stores.
If you decide to become an audiologist, your work environment won’t be too competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, audiologists held around 13,600 jobs. 29% of employers were offices of physicians, while 27% were offices of speech and occupational or physical therapists.
Furthermore, 15% of audiologist employers were state, private, or local hospitals, and 10% were state, private, or local educational services.
Some experts in audiology jobs travel between different facilities. Additionally, some of them may work closely with different healthcare workers, such as audiology assistants and registered nurses.
Injuries and Illnesses
Audiology was 8th on the list of over 200 least-stressful jobs in 2016. In fact, on a scale of one to 85, audiology scored 9.3, which means that it is less stressful than working as a librarian.
However, jobs in audiology aren’t easy. These experts work with people of different personalities and temperaments. The majority of audiologists work full time, and some over 40 hours weekly.
Not only that, but many audiologists work in the evenings and weekends to meet the needs of their patients. Experts traveling between different facilities may testify that the career is tiring and stressful.
PRofessionals on the audiologist career path work between 40–50 hours a week, while some work part-time. Some of them work in the evenings and weekends to meet the needs of their patients.
This job can be very time consuming, especially for those working in different facilities. They may spend a certain amount of time traveling between workplaces.
As for remote audiology jobs, these professionals provide patients with online consultation. Experts who want more flexibility may want to try working remotely.
How to Become an Audiologist?
If you want to land an audiologist job, you must be aware of the requirements in terms of education, licenses, certifications, and registrations. Furthermore, these experts need to possess certain qualities to be successful.
Careers and jobs in audiology require the following attributes:
- Excellent communication skills
- Compassion and empathy
- Critical thinking
- Problem-solving skills
To apply for any of the available audiologist job openings, one requires a doctoral degree in audiology or an Au.D. This graduation program lasts four years, and it may be entered after attaining a bachelor’s degree in any given field.
Some programs, such as the one offered by the University of Washington, allow students to specialize in educational, geriatric, or pediatric audiology.
Here are some of the different classes for those interested in audiology positions:
- Physiology and anatomy—peripheral hearing
- Signals, systems & acoustics for the communication sciences
- Clinical practice and practicum
Usually, students in their first or second year will take part in observations and clinical orientation. Furthermore, they will be required to pass a written and practical exam. Following this, students in their third and fourth years will participate in internships, externships, or other projects.
To get a license in the majority of states, students will need to graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Currently, all states in America require professionals to have a doctorate as well as a license. Continuing education is also required to renew their licenses and keep their audiologist positions. Not only that, but professionals will also need to meet the criteria below:
- Earn a passing score on a national exam
- Post-graduate clinical experience of nine months
- Supervised clinical experience of 300–375 hours
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers audiologists a chance to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology or CCC-A. Ambitious audiologists may be credentialed via the American Board of Audiology.
Even though this is not obligatory, employers may require audiologists to have certification, which also satisfies licensure requirements. Moreover, those interested in audiologist positions should check the state-specific requirements.
Advancement in the audiologist career depends on experience and education. For instance, audiologists have a chance to become heads of clinics or supervisors. Furthermore, they may set up private practices.
Other professionals can choose to do research, work as consultants, and even write articles or books on different hearing disorders/issues.
Expected Audiologist Salary
So how much is a basic audiologist salary? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2019, the median annual wage for audiologists was $77,600. The lowest 10% earned less than $54,010, while the highest 10% earned over $120,750.
In May 2019, the audiologist annual salary in the top industries was the following:
- Hospitals: $83,820
- Educational services: $81,190
- Offices of physicians: $75,490
According to the latest estimates, the average audiologist in the United States earns $83,783. Nevertheless, it’s believed that the salary range for an audiologist is between $77,127 and $91,487.
Keep in mind that the amounts depend on many factors, including certification, education, extra skills, and work experience.
When it comes to the audiologist job outlook, the employment of these professionals is projected to grow 16% from 2018–2028. This percentage shows that the employment growth rate is much faster than the average for every occupation. Unfortunately, because it’s not a highly popular occupation, the rapid growth will result in 2,200 new jobs over 10 years.
Due to the aging of the baby-boomer generation, the demand for audiologists will rise. Remember, balance disorders and hearing loss becomes more common as individuals grow old. Furthermore, the diagnosis of hearing disorders and early identification in babies will spur employment growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the audiologist job prospects are more optimistic in areas with larger numbers of retirees. Hence, professionals willing to relocate have better job prospects.
Pros and Cons
Audiologists are highly respected in the medical world. Even though it can be a gratifying profession, audiology jobs can be nerve-wracking. Let us take a glance at the specific benefits and drawbacks of being an audiologist.
- Audiologists change people’s lives
- The demand for audiologists is expected to grow by 34% between 2020-2022
- The salary is excellent
- Excellent career choice for people who value relationships between customers and co-workers
- Great for competitive people
- Great for people who like to work indoors
- Can be frustrating
- Lengthy education
- Long hours and travel between facilities and schools
Frequently Asked Questions
What career cluster is an audiologist under?
Career clusters are defined as occupations or professions in the same field of work that need similar skills. Audiologists belong to the career cluster of therapeutic services. Related occupations include chiropractors, dietitians and nutritionists, physical therapists, nurse midwives, and naturopathic physicians. Check out this article for more information.
What is a PSAP audiology online?
PSAPs are electronic devices made for situational listening that provide amplified environmental sounds for adult patients with normal hearing. The environments include bird watching, lectures, and hunting.
When a person with normal hearing requires assistance in hearing these specific sounds, he or she needs PSAP. These devices come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny apps to wearables.
What is an audiologist job description?
As mentioned in the article, audiologists diagnose, supervise, and treat hearing-related problems. They have plenty of duties, including examining patients who have hearing problems, assessing the results of examinations, providing patients with treatment for tinnitus, dispensing hearing aids, etc.
What is the salary for a forensic audiologist?
Forensic audiologists are professionals who specialize in legal issues. The average salary for these professionals is $73,060.
Audiologist jobs are among the best and fastest-growing professions in the medical world. Of course, like every job, this one also comes with sleepless nights and hard work, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.
Since audiologists make an effort to change people’s lives, we believe this is a highly rewarding and fulfilling profession that is definitely worth pursuing.