Audiologists study communication disorders related to hearing loss and the non-medical management of the auditory and balance systems. Hearing loss exists for persons who may be unable to hear speech and other sounds loudly enough and/or understand speech even when it is loud enough. Determining the prevalence of hearing loss depends on the type and degree of loss, the area of abnormality in the auditory system (i.e. middle ear, inner ear, brain), noise exposure, and age. Employment opportunities exist in public and private schools, health care facilities, research facilities, and private practice settings. Some of the services provided by audiologists include:
As a career, this profession requires a strong desire to work with and help people of varying backgrounds to obtain their highest potential despite a variety of challenging conditions.
Students should have personal integrity, tactfulness, versatility, self-confidence, independence, dependability, proficiency in oral/written communication, good listening skills, an ability to make reasoned observations, and appropriate decision-making skills.
Employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. (U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook)
Audiologists are required to hold a doctoral degree and state licensure/national certification.