Career Definition of Hearing Aid Specialist
Hearing aid specialists primarily focus on outfitting clients with the correct hearing aids. They primarily work for healthcare organizations, such as hospitals or audiologist practices. Hearing aid specialists may also work in retail locations for hearing aid manufacturers. A key job responsibility for hearing aid specialists is conducting and analyzing hearing tests, such as immittance screening, pure tone screening, and otoacoustic screening. They also conduct hearing tests on air or bone conduction and speech audiometry. Other job duties may include selling and maintaining hearing aids, as well as fixing damaged hearing aids.
Hearing aid specialists may instruct clients on proper hearing aid use and produce and update impressions utilized for ear molds or hearing aid shells. They may support audiologists with procedures such as auditory brainstem responses, real ear measurements, and cochlear implant mapping. Hearing aid specialists may also identify hearing disorders with the supervision of an audiologist. They can utilize colleagues in the field, scholarly journals, and professional trade organizations to ensure they are aware of relevant updates in audiology.
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma|
|Job Skills||Excellent interpersonal skills, strong technical abilities, effective organizational skills, and strong analytical abilities|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$50,250|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||19%|
Sources *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will need the minimum of a high school diploma to work as a hearing aid specialist, with some employers preferring a bachelor's degree. Hearing aid specialists may need a state license for hearing instrument dispensing. They may also need professional certifications, such as the board certification administered by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Individuals must have a current state dispensing license and two years of full-time relevant work experience or a diploma from an approved college to qualify for the certification exam.
Excellent interpersonal skills are an essential asset for hearing aid specialists, as their primary duty is interacting with people to improve their health. Hearing aid specialists should have strong technical abilities in order to effectively outfit clients with the proper hearing aids. For example, specialists may need to know how to use devices such as the MedRx A2D audiometer or video otoscope. They should also have effective organizational skills to manage client records and other administrative duties. Hearing aid specialists will need strong analytical abilities in order to examine the results of hearing tests and properly identify what issues clients suffer from.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a 19% growth for hearing aid specialists during 2016-2026, which is much faster than average for all occupations. Over 1,000 new jobs in the field are estimated to become available during the time period. The BLS reported a 2016 median annual salary of $50,250 for hearing aid specialists.
Individuals considering a career as a hearing aid specialist might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their skills in other healthcare positions.