Audiologist – In the United States, there are around 16,000 licenced audiologists. Audiology is a rapidly expanding and dynamic field. Audiologists, in general, are responsible for assisting persons with hearing problems and other ear diseases.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) forecasts a 60% rise in public demand for audiologists over the next 30 years. This figure is much larger than the overall population increase projected. It also outperforms a wide range of other medical specialities.
Many people are thinking about pursuing a career in audiology because the demand for audiologists is predicted to grow in the next decades. We’ll go over the most critical things you need to know about audiology in this article. You’ll be able to decide whether a profession in audiology is perfect for you once you’ve learned everything there is to know about it.
What is Audiologist?
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), audiology is the study of hearing problems and losses, as well as their prevention and treatment. An audiologist may consult with individuals to examine, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their hearing loss, according to the ASHA. Auditory brainstem implants, cochlear implants, hearing aids, and other hearing loss treatments are available. Patients with minor hearing loss may benefit from counselling or hearing aids to prevent further loss.
Because audiology focuses on the inner ear, it also evaluates and treats balance and equilibrium issues. Audiologists have created a number of inner ear rehabilitation devices and treatments that can significantly improve the quality of life for people who suffer from vertigo or other balance disorders.
Why Choose a Career as Audiologist?
Audiologists are health specialists who diagnose and treat hearing, balance, tinnitus, and other hearing issues using technology, advanced troubleshooting, and social skills. Audiologists assist people with hearing impairments in communicating more effectively and connecting with the world around them.
Eligibility Criteria to become Audiologist
To pursue a profession as an audiologist, one must be informed of the many courses available, which range from diploma courses to bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. A bachelor’s degree is required to be termed an audiologist, but a master’s degree is required to practise and become a professional audiologist. In addition, national certification requires a doctoral degree (PhD or AUD). These degrees are well-known internationally.
Mathematics and Science disciplines in 10+2 are required for Bachelor’s admission. The aspirant must next pass an entrance exam administered by the university, the institution that administers the All India Medical Entrance Test, or the state that administers the exam.
The following are some of the courses available in Audiology and Speech and Hearing.
- Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
- Sc. (Audiology)
- Sc. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Bachelor of Special Education (Hearing Impairment)
- Diploma in Hearing Aid and Earmould Technology
- Ed (Special Education-Distance Mode)
- D. (Audiology)
- D. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Certificate Course on Communication Disorders
How to become an Audiologist?
What are the requirements for becoming an audiologist? All practising audiologists in the United States must have a doctoral degree and be licenced by their respective states. While each person’s path to becoming an audiologist is different, there are six things to consider.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
All audiologists will eventually need a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree, although earning a bachelor’s degree is the initial step toward becoming an audiologist. While some PhD programmes accept candidates with any bachelor’s degree, completing an undergraduate study in an area relevant to audiology may give you greater preparation for your future job.
This training may be useful in an AuD programme for students who have a strong background in math, physics, anatomy, and physiology. Audiology, biology, and speech pathology are a few examples of good bachelor’s programmes for prospective audiologists. Make sure to enrol in a reputed undergraduate programme at a recognised institution.
Earn a Master’s Degree
While a master’s degree in a field such as speech pathology is not required to become an audiologist, it can provide further training in speech and communication impairments. However, a master’s in speech pathology is not essential to become an audiologist. These abilities may come in handy while working with patients who have severe hearing loss.
If you want to acquire an advanced degree while gaining useful work experience, there are a variety of part-time and online programme alternatives available. Furthermore, obtaining an MS in speech pathology may enable you to begin working as a speech-language pathologist while studying to become an audiologist.
Complete an AuD Program
It’s time to start your four-year AuD programme after you’ve completed your bachelor’s or master’s degree. The MCAT exam is not required for audiology PhD programmes because they are not part of standard medical school programmes. Any AuD program’s first two years are focused on basic curriculum, clinical observations, and practical understanding exams. Clinical experience, such as an internship programme, will provide additional hands-on practice in the third and fourth years. A capstone project is required in many AuD programmes.
Some AuD programmes allow students to select a speciality. Specialization classes can provide additional training for the specific audiology career you want. A paediatric audiology focus, for example, may assist you in achieving your goal of working in a K-12 school setting.
Pass the Praxis Examination in Audiology
The Praxis Examination in Audiology is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is required for professional certification and state licencing. Because the Praxis Audiology test assesses a student’s ability to make sound clinical decisions, completing a good clinical internship programme is essential to your success. Every 5-8 years, a new edition of the Praxis Audiology exam (and thus a new passing score computation) is created. After finishing your AuD courses and clinical practicum hours, you can enrol for this exam.
Get Licensed by Your State
A professional licence for audiologists is required in all states, while the standards differ by state. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, each state calculates its own passing score for the Praxis Audiology exam in order to provide state licencing. The ASHA website has state-specific licensure information. After you’ve chosen your state from the list, check for a link to a separate website that outlines the audiology and speech-language pathology licensure process.
Two organisations administer professional certification in audiology.
- The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). After completing your AuD degree programme, you can apply for CCC-A certification at any time.
- To reaffirm your proficiency in your chosen sector, the American Board of Audiology (ABA) offers three voluntary certifications:
- Certification by the American Bar Association
- Certification in Audiology for Children and Adolescents (PASC)
- Certification for Cochlear Implants (CISC)
For those interested in concentrating on Tinnitus Management (CH-TM) or aspiring Audiology Preceptors, the ABA also provides an additional audiologist certification programme (CH-AP). Both of these programmes are assessment-based training programmes that result in a professional certificate for individuals who finish them satisfactorily.
Audiologists specializations in audiology
A “full service” approach to audiology will be offered by many audiologists, particularly those who run full-service hearing clinics. These audiologists typically handle a wide range of patients and only send them to experts when necessary. However, there are numerous professionals in the field of audiology, as you might assume.
These specialists include
- Tinnitus – These professionals specialise in treating tinnitus, a kind of hearing loss that affects roughly 20% of adults in the United States. Tinnitus is a condition in which the ears hear a continuous ringing, buzzing, hissing, or another phantom sound.
- Pediatric Audiologists – They will need to be well-versed in general audiology, but will concentrate on treating children.
- Hearing Aid Specialists – It works with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other types of hearing equipment.
- Sensorineural Audiologists – It will focus on hearing conditions caused by inner ear issues rather than middle or outer ear issues.
These professionals can provide enhanced assistance when needed by specialising and focusing on a certain sort of audiology.
Audiology is a rapidly expanding field with a wide range of career options. The number of opportunities for audiologists is predicted to grow as the country’s population grows and the average age rises.
Several audiologists will prefer to work at a hearing clinic. These clinics offer a variety of services, including tinnitus therapy, hearing exams, and hearing aid support. While the greatest hearing centres are often privately held, others are owned by hearing aid manufacturers.
Specializing in a private practice, a public clinic, a school, or a veteran’s administration (VA) hospital are some of the other options available to audiologists. Individuals under the age of 50 should have their hearing checked every 5-10 years, while those above 50 should have their hearing checked every three years (or even more, if they have tinnitus or other audiological symptoms). Audiologists are predicted to stay in high demand due to the widespread need for hearing tests and help.
Clinicians work in
- Private practice offices
- Community health centres
- Auditory rehabilitation centres
Researchers and educator work in
- Colleges and universities
- Government agencies
- Private research firms
Administrators of speech and hearing programs work in
- Government agencies
- Non-profit organizations
- Hospitals and clinics
An audiologist’s average annual pay is $82,806, with wages ranging from $32,000 to $155,000. Salaries vary widely depending on the audiologist’s level of expertise, geographic area, and work environment. Audiologists who work in hospitals or educational settings make much more money than those who work in doctor’s offices or speciality practices.
Here is given the list of Some reputed colleges and universities to pursue Audiologist courses.
- All India Institute of Speech & Hearing, Mysore
- Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at Bhartiya Vidyapeeth Medical College Pune
- Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai, Kolkata, Secunderabad, New Delhi
- Dr SRC Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bangalore
- Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, Chennai
- National Institute of Speech & Hearing, Kerala
- BYL Nair Hospital and Medical College, Mumbai
- Dr MV Shetty Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mangalore
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Frequently Asked Questions
four years A doctor of audiology (AuD) degree is necessary for all new audiologists. This post-graduate degree usually takes four years to complete. The vast majority of students accepted into AuD programmes have a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders.
A postgraduate professional degree programme is required to become an audiologist. As a result, it may be difficult and stressful. To become an audiologist, you will undoubtedly need to devote a significant amount of time and effort to your studies.
In 2019, the median salary for audiologists was $77,600. That year, the top 25% earned $96,610, while the bottom 25% earned $66,030.
While audiology doctoral programmes do not require a specific undergraduate major, they do require courses in physics, arithmetic, anatomy, and physiology. Undergraduate communication science degrees are available at several colleges, preparing students for jobs in audiology or speech-language therapy.
Audiologists are extremely important members of society. They help people who have hearing problems as well as their family members. It can be a very rewarding job, but it can also be rather stressful at times.