Aspiring audiology technicians can enroll in associate's programs in audiology or speech and hearing science, or they may enroll in bachelor's programs in speech and hearing science. Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) programs related to speech and hearing fields prepare graduates for work as audiology technicians. Meanwhile, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in speech and hearing science are interdisciplinary, covering concepts from the natural and social sciences. Strong skills in mathematics, English composition, and the natural sciences are recommended for all applicants.
Associate's Degree in Audiology or Speech and Hearing Science
Students learn about the methods and technology used to assist speech language pathologists and audiologists as they assess and provide treatment for oral communication and hearing pathologies. Most two-year A.A. and A.S. programs give students hands-on experience using equipment relevant to the field. They also cover medical terminology, patient care, and medical billing. To enter one of these programs, a high school diploma or GED certificate is required; other admissions requirements vary by program.
The coursework in speech language science or audiology associate's degree programs emphasize practical skills used to help speech language therapists and audiologists. Students learn the basic theoretical and practical aspects of speech and hearing science and have the chance to use diagnostic technology. Courses often cover:
- Physiological acoustics
- Hearing physiology
- Language development
- Physiology of speech
Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Hearing Science
Prospective audiology technicians or audiologists study the theories behind language acquisition, hearing, and communication. These four-year programs address diagnosing and treating disorders related to oral communication, hearing, and balance. Students often complete clinical experience as part of their coursework. In order to enroll, students are required to hold a high school diploma and satisfactory ACT/SAT scores.
Classes in speech and hearing science bachelor's degree programs provide students with a theoretical understanding of hearing and oral communication. Students often take lessons in linguistics, speech pathology, anatomy and statistics. Topics may include:
- Communication disorders
- Speech pathology
- Audiology pathology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (ww.bls.gov) reported that the average annual salary for health technicians and technologists was $45,730. Expected job growth from 2014 to 2024 for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, including health technicians and technologists, was 16.4%, according to the BLS.
Audiology technician training can be found in associate's and bachelor's degree programs and teaches students how to properly diagnose and treat disorders related to oral communication, hearing, and balance. There are many opportunities for graduates to find employment in lucrative fields.