If you’re interested in a fast-growing career that will allow you to truly make a difference in other people’s lives, becoming an audiologist may be the right path for you. Audiologists specialize in treating patients of all ages for all kinds of hearing disorders and inner ear problems using a multitude of clinical practices.
There’s a lot that goes into becoming an audiologist, including many years of rigorous training and education. But with expected job growth of 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, in addition to the fulfilling experience of providing others with the gift of healthy hearing, the benefits of this career are more than evident.1 Here’s a brief rundown of what goes into becoming an audiologist.
What Exactly Does an Audiologist Do?
An audiologist is a clinical health care specialist that diagnoses and treats patients for hearing difficulties and other issues relating to the inner ear canal. It’s generally referred to as ear pathology. Audiologists are experts when it comes to the anatomical structure of the ear, which gives them an authoritative voice in the realm of hearing loss, enhancement and preservation, in addition to treating for various ear injuries.
More specifically, an audiologist might perform any of the following duties on a typical day:
• Professional ear canal cleaning
• Fit patients for hearing aids and cochlear implants
• Comprehensive ear canal examinations
• Counsel patients living with severe hearing difficulty
• Screen for hearing issues and develop treatment regimen
• Provide follow up care
• Prescribe speech, physical or occupational therapy
Why Become an Audiologist?
It’s estimated that 20 percent of Americans report experiencing some level of hearing loss. As we age, those figures only rise, as one out of three Americans over the age of 65 experience hearing loss.2 Simply put, audiologists help millions of people each year live more comfortable and rewarding lives.
How to Become an Audiologist
Education – Those looking to become audiologists must have a high school diploma or equivalent measure of education. They must also obtain a four-year undergraduate degree. There’s no specific degree program necessary for pursuing audiology, but some degree programs, such as biology, communication sciences and disorders, speech-language pathology or another biology or linguistic-related degree, are recommended.
After collecting a bachelor’s degree, audiologist hopefuls must obtain a doctoral degree. It can be in audiology (AuD) or a PhD, or they may purse a dual degree program. All told, the secondary education process for becoming an audiologist can take seven to 14 years.
Licensing – After obtaining your doctoral degree, licensing is required to begin practicing. Licensing requirements differ by state. According to the ASHA, Florida audiologist licensing requirements include:
- Possessing a doctoral degree
- Completing a supervised clinical practicum
- Completing 11 months of professional employment
- Passing the Educational Testing Services Praxis Series Examination
- Completing a course on HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Completing a two-hour continuing education course related to prevention of medical errors
Certification – Certification requirements often depend on the employer. Many choose to get certified because it provides the opportunity to stay current with industry trends and offers career growth opportunities. You can become certified with a professional organization, such as the ASHA.
Related Skills – Like any other career, possessing certain skills will help you succeed as an audiologist. For instance, technological savviness will assist in mastering the most current hearing aid technology you’ll be prescribing to your patients. Good communication and interpersonal skills will help establish trusted relationships with your patients and enable you to better explain complex hearing concepts or difficult news. Other good skills to have are attention to detail, analytical and scientific skills.
Trusted Audiologists in Weeki Wachee, Florida
Being an audiologist yields immense benefits, from expected career growth to the pride you can take in helping others regain or preserve something as treasured as their ability to hear.
Are you interested in a career in audiology or simply want to find a reliable hearing professional to help with your or a loved one’s hearing issues? The caring audiologists at Davis Family Hearing have undergone rigorous education, certification, and additional training so they can better serve you and your family.
If you or a loved one would like to schedule a screening, contact Davis Family Hearing by visiting us online or by calling (352) 666-8910.