An audiologist is responsible for diagnosing and treating individuals with hearing loss problems. In order to be licensed in the United States, aspiring audiologists must complete postgraduate study in a 4-year Doctor of Audiology degree program. These programs have a number of prerequisites, including an undergraduate degree, a high GPA and GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a master's degree in a related field and the completion of clinical work.
In addition to covering patient treatment, hearing disorders and communication techniques, a doctoral program in audiology should also cover basic medical information like anatomy and physiology. It has been designed to prepare graduates for a requisite 12 months of supervised clinical experience, which will in turn prepare them to gain clinical certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Graduate Programs in Audiology
Coursework in a graduate program in audiology is designed to provide students with a strong understanding of the nature of hearing and the processes of the ear. Study typically involves three years of classroom lecture followed by at least one year of clinical experience. Some common courses include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Amplification technology
- Auditory assessment
- Physiological assessment
- Pediatric audiology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), audiologists had a projected job growth rate of 29% for the 2014-2024 decade. This may be attributed to the increasing aging population and its battles with hearing loss. As the field is small, only 3,800 new positions will appear over the 10-year period. In May 2015, the BLS stated that the median annual wage of an audiologist was about $74,890.
Prospective audiologists will need to complete a doctorate program's coursework and clinical experiences to start their career. Audiologists occupy a relatively specialized field, but can look forward to strong employment growth.