A high school diploma or GED and on-the-job training can prepare an individual to enter the job market as an audiology assistant. Audiology assistants work with audiologists to test patients with hearing issues. Certification programs are available, and some states require audiology assistants to be licensed, certified or registered.
Audiology assistants work closely with audiologists, testing and assisting patients with hearing problems. Becoming an audiology assistant is an excellent career choice for those who want to work in a helping profession that has the potential for steady growth. Though state regulations for audiology assistants vary, the minimum education requirement for this career is a high school education. Most employers will provide on-the-job training following employment.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED; on-the-job-training provided with employment; certificate programs in audiology assisting available|
|Other Requirements||Vary by state and may include licensing, certification or registration|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||29% for audiologists*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$35,990 for audiology technicians**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com
U.S. News and World Report reported that audiology was ranked as one of the ten 'hidden gems' careers in 2013, identified as an not-so-obvious career path offering a surprisingly good salary, benefits, and good employment outlook. Salaries vary by location, employer, and by the amount of experience and training accrued. According to PayScale.com, the majority of audiology technicians earned between $24,468 and $46,539 a year in January 2016; however, this was based on only 87 individuals reporting.
The American Academy of Audiology reports that a high school diploma or its equivalent is required for a career as an audiology assistant. In addition, audiologists are responsible for providing competency-based training for their assistants. Requirements for audiology assistants vary widely state-by-state, so aspiring assistants must take into account the degree, licensure and certification laws in their particular state with regard to educational requirements.
Most audiology assistants receive hands-on training from their employers and are expected to show that they can perform the necessary duties to their employers' satisfaction. However, audiology assistants who need or wish to obtain additional education can receive training at technical schools, colleges and even from the military. There are also accredited online programs including an Audiology Assistant/Hearing Aid Specialist Certificate of Completion.
Once hired and properly trained by their employers, audiology assistants may perform a variety of tasks, including:
- General office and clerical duties
- Equipment maintenance
- Patient preparation
- Balance testing
- Neonatal testing
- Hearing test assistance
- Hearing aid repair
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't collect data pertaining directly to audiology assistants, it reports that employment of audiologists could increase by 29% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Given that hearing loss is cumulative and commonly affects the elderly population, and that early detection of hearing loss creates a demand for specialists who can test and diagnose hearing impairment in children, audiologists may see above-average job growth in the field. This is a much faster rate of job growth than average when compared to all occupations.
Individuals with a high school diploma or GED may qualify to become audiology technicians. They can expect to receive on-the-job training. Optional post-secondary training is available for those planning to enter this career field. This is a good career for those interested in working in a growing helping profession.