Audiologists test patients’ hearing, and examine patients who have balance —or other—ear problems. Most audiologists fit patients with hearing aids, and monitor their hearing over time. Because hearing loss can influence a person’s well-being, audiologists evaluate psychological health, and determine a patient’s coping skills before they recommend treatment. They treat balance disorders with special exercises, clear ear wax from ear canals, and may fit patients with cochlear implants for some types of deafness. They may also do research or educate people on how to prevent—or cope with— hearing loss. Compassion is essential in virtually all healthcare careers, but audiologists in particular need the patience and perseverance to find solutions for patients who may be frustrated and anxious due to hearing or balance problems. They need strong communication skills to help patients and their families understand diagnoses or treatment options. Most audiologists work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and clinics. Some work for school districts or in pharmacies. Most audiologists work full time, including some evenings and weekends, although a significant number are employed part time. Audiologists need a doctoral degree and must be licensed to practice in a particular state. Requirements vary by state. Doctoral degrees in audiology typically take 4 years to complete; candidates may apply to enter programs after earning a bachelor’s degree in any field.
What they do:
Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
On the job, you would:
Maintain patient records at all stages, including initial and subsequent evaluation and treatment activities.
Evaluate hearing and balance disorders to determine diagnoses and courses of treatment.
Fit, dispense, and repair assistive devices, such as hearing aids.
sales and marketing
therapy and counseling
medicine and dentistry
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
understanding people's reactions
looking for ways to help people
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
Hearing and Speech
recognize spoken words
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
Vestibular Technologies ScreenTRAK
doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.