Audiologists essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $69,720
- 2011, number of jobs: 12,060
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 37 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
Audiologists; what they do:
To individuals with hearing and balance problems, an audiologist can change their lives for the better. An audiologist career includes examining individuals experiencing balance, hearing, or other ear related issues, diagnosing the problem, and dispensing the appropriate treatment. Treatment can be as easy as cleaning out earwax, or as complicated as fitting and programming the patient with cochlear implants.
Audiologists do a great deal for the hearing impaired, whether it’s fitting them for hearing aids or counseling them on lip reading, sign language, and other ways communication forms. Audiologist careers include using audiometers, computers, and other devices, to test patients’ hearing and balance and to determine the amount of damage, if any.
An audiologist career includes keeping records of their patients’ personal information and treatment plans and altering the treatment plan as needed. Prior to developing a treatment plan, audiologists must also assess the impact of hearing loss on the patient psychologically.
Audiologists sometimes specialize in children, elderly, or designing products to help protect workers’ hearing while on the job.
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Audiologists job titles:
- Clinical Audiologist
- Audiology Doctor (AUD)
- Dispensing Audiologist
- Educational Audiologist
- Pediatric Audiologist
- Hearing Aid Audiologist
- Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology Licensed Audiologist (CCC-A Licensed Audiologist)
- Clinical Director
Audiologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Individuals seeking an audiologist career must obtain a Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.), preferably from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation, before beginning work in the audiology field.
Audiologists programs cover subjects such as:
- Normal and abnormal communication development
- Diagnosis and treatment
An audiologist needs a license to practice in any state, although the requirements for licensure vary by state.
Audiologist certification is not required, although it’s highly recommended, audiologist certification demonstrates commitment to the field and a desire to learn more about audiology. Some employers require certification.
Audiologists may earn a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The American Board of Audiology provides certification.
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Audiologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 37 percent employment growth for audiologists from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because the occupation is small overall, this high growth results in only about 4,800 jobs in a 10-year period.
The hearing issues of the aging population increases the demand for audiologists. Hearing disorders diagnosed earlier in infants, also increases the need for audiologists. As hearing aids become more advanced, more comfortable, more effective, and less noticeable, more individuals with hearing problems are likely to want hearing aids.
Job prospects are best for audiologists with doctorial degrees, especially if they are willing to relocate to areas with larger densities of aging individuals.
- 2011 median annual wage: $69,720
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $85,040
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $56,330
- Healthcare facilities
- Physician’s offices
- Audiology clinics