Approximately 15% of Americans over 18 have reported hearing difficulty, and 1 in 8 people over the age of 12 have hearing loss in both ears, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
It can be challenging to navigate the world without proper hearing, so professionals who can help people improve or regain their hearing are essential.
They treat patients of all ages, including newborns and elderly patients.
They also work with musicians with hearing loss and fit elderly patients with hearing aids.
Audiologists can assist their patients in living better by providing appropriate care and therapy.
Audiologists and skilled allied health professionals can evaluate, prevent, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance issues.
Treatment options include cochlear implants, audiologic rehabilitation, hearing aids, and hearing assistive technology systems (HATS).
A career as an audiologist can be the right choice for you if you have a strong passion for healthcare and desire a flexible and exciting work environment.
Being an audiologist may be pretty gratifying because the profession offers excellent employment and income prospects and enables individuals to interact more effectively with their environment.
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What is an Audiologist School Like?
Audiologists have the option of earning one of two main degrees.
A master’s degree in audiology, or clinical audiology, is the first option.
A Ph.D. in audiology is the second most popular degree (AuD).
However, an AuD degree is necessary for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accreditation. At the same time, most states merely require audiology license candidates to have finished a master’s degree.
Is Attending an Audiologist School Worth It?
One of the main positions in the healthcare sector is audiology.
The following are the profession’s main advantages:
- Job security: As the population ages, more people need help with their hearing and balance.
- Flexibility: There are several settings in which audiologists can work.
- Excellent working conditions: Audiology generally involves less stress than other medical and healthcare jobs.
- Rewarding: For many audiologists, assisting those who suffer from hearing loss is very satisfying.
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What Schooling Do You Need to Be an Audiologist?
1. A Bachelor Degree
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science after four years of undergraduate study is a prerequisite for those who wish to become audiologists.
High school graduation with honors in science, English, and math are prerequisite, as are strong SAT or ACT scores.
Expect to take classes on hearing, language, and speech and courses on language disorders.
Some classes may also include practical clinical experience with actual patients.
Other courses could cover voice issues, pediatric speech disorders, American sign language, communication disorder statistics, and phonetics.
2. A Master’s Degree
The completion of an audiology master’s program is also required of audiologists.
Programs normally span two years, and entry requirements include strong GRE scores and college-level coursework in math, English, biology, chemistry, physics, communication, and psychology.
Coursework for degrees covers physiology, anatomy, physics, assessments and treatments of balance, auditory, and brain systems, ethics, and normal and abnormal communication development.
3. Doctorate Degree
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that getting a doctorate is becoming more and more necessary to work as an audiologist.
A doctorate was required for prospective audiologists in 18 states; these programs take around four years to complete and award the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a Council on Academic Accreditation component, accredits programs.
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4. Clinical Practice and Examination
Audiologists must pass a state-specific licensing exam and complete a particular amount of clinical practice hours, which the state of licensure will decide.
There are also two optional certifications available: CCC-A and ABA.
The Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) is awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
To be eligible, candidates must possess a graduate degree in audiology, 375 hours of clinical experience gained under the supervision of a licensed audiologist, and have finished a 36-week clinical fellowship after graduate school.
Additionally, candidates must be successful on the educational testing services’ Praxis Series of audiology exam.
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How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed Audiologist?
After completing a bachelor’s degree, becoming an audiologist typically takes four years.
Obtaining a Doctor of Audiology (AuD), which takes four years to finish, is a prerequisite for these specialists.
Before being admitted to an AuD school, most aspiring audiologists hold undergraduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Audiologist?
It normally costs between $76,000 and $150,000 to earn a doctorate in audiology. A doctorate in audiology, for instance, costs $77,740 at San Diego State University. At the University of Washington in Seattle, another public institution, a doctorate in audiology costs around $149,377 over four years.
A doctor of audiology (Au.D.) degree is the standard outcome of a four-year doctoral program in audiology.
It takes roughly four semesters to finish a master’s degree in audiology, costing between $15,000 and $50,000.
The University of Colorado charges around $16,000 for 30 credit hours toward a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology.
The cost of a 38-credit hour master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology at the University of Iowa is $17,960 for residents of Iowa and $48,680 for non-residents.
Speech and language pathology, a similar field, is frequently associated with audiology master’s degrees.
Audiologists can become board certified for $300 to $500 through two significant trade associations.
The primary organization in the nation for audiology certification is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and certification without membership costs $455.
It costs $200 for one year or $370 for three years to become certified as an audiologist by the American Board of Audiology.
Candidates must obtain a Ph.D. degree to join either organization.
According to state licensing criteria, applicants may apply for certification from either group.
Audiologists can obtain a one- to three-year state license for $50 to $300.
In contrast to New York, where a three-year license costs $294, California charges $60 for a two-year license.
Missouri issues a two-year, $50 license for audiologists.
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Salary and Job Outlook for Audiologists after Study
Audiologists’ salaries range from $32,000 to $155,000 a year, with the average pay being $82,806.
Based on the audiologist’s level of expertise, the area in which they work, and the workplace culture, salaries might vary widely.
Audiologists who work in medical facilities or educational institutions typically make much more money than those who work in general practitioners’ offices or specialized clinics.
In contrast to the five percent average growth for all occupations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment will increase by 16% between 2020 and 2030.
The aging of the baby boomer generation and rising life expectancy are the main causes of job growth.
As the population ages, there will be a greater need for specialists in hearing loss and balance issues.
Audiology can be your profession if you are interested in the healthcare industry and degree alternatives that come with high average wage rates.
To become an audiologist, you require strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
To comprehend and communicate with patients who have difficulty hearing and talking and to empathize with the challenges their hearing loss presents in their lives, you also need to have a lot of patience and compassion.
Of course, if pursuing a doctorate is required, you must also be prepared to devote a significant amount of time, energy, and money to your study.
After receiving their high school diploma, aspiring audiologists can anticipate spending at least eight years in education, including four years to finish their bachelor’s degree and an additional four years to finish their doctorate in audiology.
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Frequently Asked Questions
However, it takes years of study and commitment to become an audiologist. It can be challenging to decide between speech pathology and audiology. Many of the patients that both professions treat are similar. And if you’re ready to start, becoming a speech-language pathologist is a quicker option.
A doctor of audiology degree, which is the same as a Ph. D., is something that many audiologists pursue after their initial training. It is not, however, considered to be a medical degree. Audiologist is a doctor in that who hold doctoral degree; however, they are not fully trained physicians.
In some areas of the country, there will be a greater need for audiologic services as the population ages and grows. There may be improved work chances for audiologists who are prepared to move to places with a higher retirement-age population.
Audiologists must hold a state license or registration in 50 states and the District of Columbia. A bachelor’s degree is the first requirement to working as an audiologist. Graduate programs call for physics, arithmetic, anatomy, and physiology courses despite the lack of a requirement for a specific major.
An audiologist’s typical day entails diagnosing and treating patients with hearing-related diseases. Audiologists may help with hearing aid fittings and auditory training. They might also conduct investigations into hearing issues.
According to the type of service required, schedule appointments for (in my business, for instance) an average of 8 to 12 patients per day for durations ranging from 15 minutes to an hour or more. We see patients ranging in age from a few weeks to 100.
We encourage patients to see the clinic immediately if there is an issue with their hearing aids.
Audiologists are specialists that can assist in detecting, preventing, and treating hearing and balance issues in patients of all ages.
Audiologists offer expert, individualized services to help people participate more fully in life’s major activities and improve their quality of life.