Audiologist - How to Become an Audiologist

Audiologist

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Audiologist Job Description

 

Audiologists are health care professionals who possess expertise in nonmedical diagnosis and management of disorders pertaining to the auditory and balance system. They specialize in the middle and inner ear: the cochlea and the vestibular system.

They identify and assess hearing and balance disorders and rehabilitate patients who suffer from such disorders. In addition to these, audiologists also serve people by preventing hear loss.

Audiologists collaborate with other medical specialists who are concerned with disorders of the auditory and balance system such as speech language pathologists, allied health care professionals and technicians.

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Responsibilities

 

Being responsible for the fitting of hearing aids and determining the patient’s need for assistive devices are also very important part of the jobs of an audiologist. Some specialized audiologists can effectively teach communication strategies and help in speech reading.

In industrial audiology, audiologists are tasked with the responsibility of creating a hearing conservation program for employees.

Their overall responsibilities include:

  • Clearing any debris from the ear canal
  • Fitting devices such as hearing aides or cochlear implants
  • Prescribing therapies ranging from physical, occupational, and speech
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Making patient referrals to physicians

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Skills

 

Audiologists must, first and foremost, possess superior communications skills and a strong interest in speech, writing, and counseling. Since they work closely with patients, being capable of conveying information to all types of people serves an Audiologist and their career well.

As with most medical fields, a strong interest in science and technology is also necessary for success. With Audiologists particularly, an interest in small hearing devices like aids and implants is ideal.

Aspiring Audiologists should look to hone their problem solving, support, writing, and team-building skills in addition to their formal training. 

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Working Conditions

 

Audiologists can work in health care facilities, educational institutions and in government agencies. They are known to have a working schedule that demands 40 to 50 hours of work per week. Part time working schedules are also an option.

Audiologists frequently work as part of health care team, including speech-language pathologists, scientists, technicians, educators, and others, in order to devise the most effective approach to managing patient conditions.

 


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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:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

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

Freshman Year

 

  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • College Algebra & Statistics
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • English 101
  • English 102
  • Humanities Requirement
  • Social Science Requirement

Sophomore Year

  • Statistics 
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Athletic Care & Prevention
  • Social Science Requirement

Junior Year

 

  • Nutrition for Athletes
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Lower Body Injury Evaluation
  • Athletic Training Clinical I & II
  • Exercise Testing
  • Upper Body Injury Evaluation
  • Therapeutic Exercise Foundations

Senior Year

  • Therapeutic Exercise Techniques
  • Pharmacology
  • Biomechanics
  • Foundations of Physical Conditioning
  • Athletic Training Clinical III & IV
  • Remaining Electives

 

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:

 

Section/Category  Section Breakdown
Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry
Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology
Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills
  • 53 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes
  • Tests reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

 

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the AAMC website here.

 

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:

 

Year Example Courses

Year 1

 

  • Hearing Science
  • Instrumentation
  • Auditory Dysfunction Assessment
  • Pediatric Assessment
  • Rehabilitative Audiology
  • Hearing Aides 
  • Geriatric Audiology
  • Electrophysiological Assessment
  • Clinic

Year 2

  • Balance Assessment
  • Medical Audiology
  • Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Hearing Development
  • Pediatric Amplification
  • Research Methods
  • Electrophysiological Assessment II
  • Hearing Aide Repair
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Statistics
  • Hearing Impaired Children Management
  • Seminar
  • Capstone
  • Clinic

Year 3

 

  • Speech & Hearing Issues
  • Counseling
  • Hearing Conversation
  • Hearing Development
  • Advanced Amplification
  • Seminar
  • Capstone
  • Clinic

Year 4

  • Externship
  • Full-time Clinical

 

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:

  1. Foundations (10%)
  2. Prevention & Identification (10%)
  3. Assessment (40%)
  4. Intervention (30%)
  5. Professional Issues (10%)

Praxis Exam for Audiology Study Companion

 

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.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.28.2016
- Masters degree is required The VCU Health Systems is seeking a Audiologist to provide a full range of audiological services, including evaluation of the peripheral and central auditory systems as well as the vestibular system; plan and...
11.28.2016
Position Summary: In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team, provides auditory services including evaluation, treatment, and education. Supervisory Responsibilities: After one year of experience, may act as a student supervisor, may direct...
11.28.2016
Mercy Clinic - ENT is actively recruiting an Audiologist who will exhibit extraordinary care consistent with their mission. Candidate must have experience testing patients of all ages, birth through adulthood as well as diverse pediatric testing...
12.02.2016
PRACTICE SPECIFICS The Audiologist will provide a comprehensive array of professional services related to the identification assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of persons with auditory and balance disorders and the disabilities associated with...
11.28.2016
Tri-County Medical Associates is a large, multi-specialty, physician group practice with an emphasis on primary care. We offer a variety of out-patient primary care and specialty offices located throughout Bellingham, Franklin, Hopedale,...
12.04.2016
Department: AudiologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Mayo Clinic in Florida is seeking an AuD level Audiologist within the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. The Mayo Clinic has a strong institutional emphasis on outstanding clinical...
12.04.2016
Department: Otolaryngology/AudiologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: We are seeking an experienced, licensed audiologist to work on a supplemental basis in our busy, fast-paced Adult Diagnostic Clinic. The audiologist will conduct hearing...
12.02.2016
AUDIOLOGIST The Audiologist performs all diagnostic tests, patient counseling, and follow-up. Also performs all other related clinical skills, ensuring optimum departmental functioning. Must be readily accessible to Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT)...
11.28.2016
11. Budgetary Responsibilities include managing expense and revenue accounts, assisting with budget development Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is a 162 bed non-profit, community teaching hospital located in Jamaica Plain directly...
11.28.2016
11.28.2016
Master's degree in Audiology, MA license, CCC-A (ASHA), pediatric testing, hearing, fitting and dispensing, experience with children and adults, BAER, OAE's experience needed.
11.28.2016
Master's degree in Audiology, MA license, CCC-A (ASHA), pediatric testing, hearing, fitting and dispensing, experience with children and adults, BAER, OAE's experience needed.
11.28.2016
The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
11.30.2016
Sign on bonus and relocation assistance available! Carle Physician Group consists of 400 physicians, and 250 advanced practice providers, is comprised of 50 specialties/subspecialties and has a service area of 1.5 million residents. Our...
11.28.2016
Doctoral degree in Audiology (beginning in 2012) granted by a university. Must complete a program of graduate study (a minimum of 75 semester credit hours) that includes academic course work and a minimum of 12 months' full-time equivalent of...
  1. Audiologist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required The VCU Health Systems is seeking a Audiologist to provide a full range of audiological services, including evaluation of the peripheral and central auditory systems as well as the vestibular system; plan and...
  2. Audiologist Norwalk, OH Fisher-Titus Medical Center
    Position Summary: In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team, provides auditory services including evaluation, treatment, and education. Supervisory Responsibilities: After one year of experience, may act as a student supervisor, may direct...
  3. Audiologist Oklahoma City, OK Mercy Hospital - Oklahoma City, OK
    Mercy Clinic - ENT is actively recruiting an Audiologist who will exhibit extraordinary care consistent with their mission. Candidate must have experience testing patients of all ages, birth through adulthood as well as diverse pediatric testing...
  4. Audiologist, Superior Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    PRACTICE SPECIFICS The Audiologist will provide a comprehensive array of professional services related to the identification assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of persons with auditory and balance disorders and the disabilities associated with...
  5. Audiologist- TCMA Milford, MA Milford Regional Medical Center
    Tri-County Medical Associates is a large, multi-specialty, physician group practice with an emphasis on primary care. We offer a variety of out-patient primary care and specialty offices located throughout Bellingham, Franklin, Hopedale,...
  6. Audiologist Job Jacksonville, FL Mayo Clinic - Jacksonville, FL
    Department: AudiologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: Mayo Clinic in Florida is seeking an AuD level Audiologist within the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. The Mayo Clinic has a strong institutional emphasis on outstanding clinical...
  7. Audiologist, PRN Job Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic - Rochester
    Department: Otolaryngology/AudiologyA Life-Changing CareerPosition Summary: We are seeking an experienced, licensed audiologist to work on a supplemental basis in our busy, fast-paced Adult Diagnostic Clinic. The audiologist will conduct hearing...
  8. Audiologist - New Orleans New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    AUDIOLOGIST The Audiologist performs all diagnostic tests, patient counseling, and follow-up. Also performs all other related clinical skills, ensuring optimum departmental functioning. Must be readily accessible to Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT)...
  9. Audiologist Part Time Boston, MA Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital
    11. Budgetary Responsibilities include managing expense and revenue accounts, assisting with budget development Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital is a 162 bed non-profit, community teaching hospital located in Jamaica Plain directly...
  10. Audiologist Ketchum, ID St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center
  11. Audiologist Springfield, MA Sisters of Providence Health System
    Master's degree in Audiology, MA license, CCC-A (ASHA), pediatric testing, hearing, fitting and dispensing, experience with children and adults, BAER, OAE's experience needed.
  12. Audiologist Springfield, MA Sisters of Providence Health System
    Master's degree in Audiology, MA license, CCC-A (ASHA), pediatric testing, hearing, fitting and dispensing, experience with children and adults, BAER, OAE's experience needed.
  13. Audiologist Winston-Salem, NC Novant Health
    The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
  14. Audiologist Urbana, IL Carle Foundation
    Sign on bonus and relocation assistance available! Carle Physician Group consists of 400 physicians, and 250 advanced practice providers, is comprised of 50 specialties/subspecialties and has a service area of 1.5 million residents. Our...
  15. PPG Audiologist Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    Doctoral degree in Audiology (beginning in 2012) granted by a university. Must complete a program of graduate study (a minimum of 75 semester credit hours) that includes academic course work and a minimum of 12 months' full-time equivalent of...