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Career Definition of a Hearing Aid Specialist
Hearing aid specialists work directly with customers to determine their auditory needs. They are responsible for testing the hearing of the people they see. They maintain records of the test results so that they can be used to inform recommendations about hearing aids or other products the individual might benefit from. They may also make impressions of people's ears so that devices that fit appropriately can be made. Hearing aid specialists show customers how to use their hearing aids. They also teach people how to use other communication devices. They may also repair hearing aids or provide maintenance services for the products they provide.
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma or GED and on-the-job training|
|Job Skills||Computer skills, customer service skills, sales skills, English language skills, decision-making skills, teaching skills, verbal communication skills, problem-solving skills, mechanical skills|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$50,250|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||19%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education and Training Requirements
Hearing aid specialists do not need to have postsecondary education to begin their career. They can pursue work with a high school diploma or GED and learn through on-the-job training from an audiologist. There are certificate programs available in this field and opting to complete a certificate program may increase job prospects. Computer skills are needed in this field so those interested in becoming a hearing aid specialist can also opt to take training to use Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Word to demonstrate relevant skills.
Hearing aid specialists need to have computer skills so that they can work with medical software and maintain accurate records of test results and services provided to clients. They need to have good customer service skills and oral communication skills in order to talk to customers, explain their product options and help them make decisions about what type of equipment they may need. Hearing aid specialists also need to be capable teachers because they educate their clients on how to care for the devices they purchase. Mechanical and problem-solving skills are needed in order to identify the source of any technical issues with a client's device and to effectively repair the device.
Career Outlook and Salary
In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated hearing aid specialists took home a median annual income of $50,250. The BLS expects hearing aid specialists to enjoy a job growth rate of 19% from 2016 to 2026, which is considerably higher than the national average of 7% for all occupations expected during the same ten-year period.
There are a number of career options in the medical field that do not require a college degree, such as being a certified optical technician, a dispensing optician or a sterile process technician. Those considering a career as a hearing aid specialist may be interested in exploring these career options as well and can learn more about these occupations from the articles linked below.