The Audiologist is a medical professional who works with people who have hearing, balance, and related ear problems. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide services to prevent, diagnose, evaluate, and treat communication disorders.
Using technology and computers they provide essential hearing services in a variety of settings including research, manufacturing, industry and private practice.
The audiologist job description includes assisting with treating hearing loss and other issues. They work with other healthcare professionals. Part of this treatment may include the fitting, testing and supplying of hearing aids to hearing impaired clients.
The job can include working with special populations such as children born with hearing impairment or the elderly. Most audiologists work with all segments of the hearing impaired and those with hearing loss as part of their job description.
Working Environment for Audiologists
Audiologists work in a variety of settings. They work in Schools, Hospitals, Public Health Departments, Research Agencies, Uniformed Services, Special Schools, Private and Group Practice, Colleges and Universities amongst many other places.
They usually work at a desk or table in clean, comfortable surroundings. The job is not physically demanding but does require attention to detail and intense concentration. The emotional needs of patients and their families may be demanding. Most full-time audiologists work about 40 hours per week, which may include weekends and evenings to meet the needs of patients. Some work part time. Those who work on a contract basis may spend a substantial amount of time traveling between facilities.
Training and Qualifications - what you have to do to be an Audiologist
Formal education and training requirements for audiologists includes a Master’s degree from an accredited college. Many states require a Doctorate in Audiology as the minimum standard. Specialty certification requires an additional training module and a minimum number of hours practicing as an Audiologist. A standardized exam is also part of the process.
Licensing and Certifications
In 49 states Audiologist's are
regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed Audiologist is:
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school.
2) Pass a national exam
3) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.
Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), is a nationally recognized professional credential that represents a level of excellence in the field of Audiology (CCC-A). Those who have achieved the certification—have voluntarily met rigorous academic and professional standards, typically going beyond the minimum requirements for state licensure.
Significant Points for the Audiologist
Employment growth will be spurred by the expanding population in older age groups that are prone to medical conditions that result in hearing problems. Employment of audiologists is projected to grow 34 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Hearing loss increases as people age, so the aging population is likely to increase demand for audiologists.
More than half worked in health care facilities; many others were employed by educational services.
A master’s degree in audiology has been the standard credential; however, a clinical doctoral degree is becoming more common for new entrants and is expected to become the new standard for the profession.
The total numbers of audiologists are small compared to other healthcare occupations. In a traditional supply and demand model this would lead to higher wages and increased opportunity. Due to reimbursement issues and the ability to hire lower paid technicians in this area the job outlook for this profession is not as rosy as most. More opportunity exists in the private practice arena.
Resources for Audiologist Job Description
Audiologist Job Description Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.HOME › Audiologist