An audiologist is a vital health practitioner who analyzes and evaluates a patient’s hearing. Audiology is the branch of science that studies hearing, and an audiologist is licensed to treat hearing, balance, and ear-related disorders. A career in audiology can be rewarding, especially if you enjoy working through problems and helping patients. To get started, one must have earned his doctor of audiology degree (AuD) or a comparable doctorate degree from an accredited university and have undergone special training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and treatment of hearing disorders.
Audiologists are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions pertaining to the ear. They can help patients struggling with hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders, and work with patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors.
Audiologists enjoy a career in which they can contribute to developing methods of helping others and interact closely with patients and other healthcare practitioners. They are involved in designing and implementing hearing conservation programs, as well as newborn hearing screening programs.
In addition, audiologists can recommend and program hearing devices for patients who have trouble hearing. They are qualified to select, fit and dispense hearing aids and other devices that help patients hear better. They can also teach patients about best practices for protecting their hearing. Oftentimes, audiologists help researchers contributing to developing better methods of prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss, tinnitus and balance dysfunction.
An audiologist can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, private practices, clinics, ENT offices, universities, public schools, and government, military, and VA hospitals. They may even work in select pharmacies. This type of healthcare position requires a valid license in all 50 states, and is expected to grow up to 29% through the year 2024.
Day-to-day, audiologists interact with many healthcare providers, and work closely with registered nurses, audiology assistants, and physicians. Most audiologists work in full-time positions that require 40 hours or more per week.