How to Become an Audiologist
1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)
Students who wish to become audiologists are recommended to major in communication sciences and disorders in college. While no specific major is required, it is suggested to stay in the sciences as candidates may otherwise be required to fulfill additional prerequisites when applying for graduate school.
Common areas of study include:
Some colleges offers students specific programs intended to prepare them for post-baccalaureate studies in Audiology. Check with the schools your interested in for further information.
The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:
|Grade Level||Example Courses|
2. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills.
The MCAT is divided into four sections:
|Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems||
|Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems||
|Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior||
|Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills||
You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the MCAT website. If you are unsatisfied with your score on any of the aforementioned exams, you are free to retake them. Depending on the school, some will average your scores and others will simply take your most recent.
3. Earn a Doctor of Audiology Degree (Au.D.) (4 - 7 Years)
Prior to 2012, only a master's degree was required to practice in the field. Today, however, Audiologists are required to secure a doctoral degree from an accredited program offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation.
Depending on the program's intensiveness and research requirements, the time to complete an Au.D. program may vary. In order to become certified by the ASHA, prospective audiologists must complete at least 1,820 supervised clinical practice hours, which are usually fulfilled throughout a doctoral program.
The preparation timeline below outlines example courses:
4. Earn a License or Certification
Audiologists currently must be licensed or certified in all 50 states. To gain licensing they must take the Praxis exam for Audiology and score at least a 170 out of 200, with the exam's scale at 100 - 200. Students should look to complete the exam during their final years of their PhD program as much of it largely depends on the student's ability to make clinical decisions.
The Praxis Audiology exam is broken into the following topics:
- Foundations (10%)
- Prevention & Identification (10%)
- Assessment (40%)
- Intervention (30%)
- Professional Issues (10%)
5. Maintain License or Certification
In order to maintain their licenses, Audiologists must also complete 10 - 30 hours of continuing education units per year (CEUs), varying state to state.