Audiologist Training: How to Become an Audiologist

As the population of aging Americans increases, the demand for audiologists is expected to grow. Training for audiologists is quite extensive. In this article, we will look at just what it takes to become an audiologist.

Job Description and Prospects

An audiologist is a medical professional who deals with conditions relating to the ear, including hearing loss and balance disorders. He tests for possible ear problems, diagnoses them and sets up treatment plans. Treatments can include prescribing the right kind of hearing aids, using cochlear implants, surgery and outpatient procedures. He also provides guidance and counseling to those who have suffered hearing loss.

The demand for audiologists will increase steadily in the next ten years, so the profession is one with excellent growth potential. An audiologist is also a very well paying job: salaries range from $50,000 to $90,000. But to obtain these salaries, an audiologist must have extensive education and training.

Education and Training

Practicing audiologists will require at least a master's degree in audiology. As of 2012, a doctoral degree in audiology will be necessary; the master's degree in audiology will no longer be offered. The doctorate in audiology is known as an AuD. Prospective audiologists must complete a wide array of courses at a regionally accredited university. Typical coursework would include classes in anatomy, mathematics, physiology, psychology and more. Audiologists must also demonstrate their proficiency in operating the various kinds of audiology equipment and interpreting the results of hearing and balance tests.

In order to become an AuD, prospects must have a minimum of 12 months of practical, supervised experience at an audiology clinic or the equivalent. They must also pass an exam known as a Praxis exam offered by Educational Testing Services.

There are several professional organizations that can help you obtain the education and certification necessary to become an audiologist. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is an excellent source of information about the audiology profession. They can provide information on where to complete your audiology training, how to obtain financial aid, and where to find open audiology jobs. Through a rigorous program, they also provide their own certification for the job. The Academy of Doctors of Audiology is another good source of audiology information, as is the American Academy of Audiology. The websites of these organizations are treasure troves of audiology information.

Many of the large universities offer audiology programs, but here are some of the most notable: Vanderbilt University, the University of Iowa, the University of Memphis and Northwestern University.

Licensing

Most states require that an audiologist be licensed. A license is also often necessary to sell hearing aids, although this requirement is gradually being phased out. The standards of each state vary. It's best to look up each state's standards individually on that state's home website. Regular periodic testing is done to retain an audiologist's license.

Finding Audiology Jobs

If you have completed all the educational and certification requirements, the chances are good that your educational institution has already given you job leads. You may also want to consult the websites of the professional organizations mentioned above.

A great source for information about audiology jobs is the website www.hospitaljobsonline.com.