What Does IT Take to Become an Audiologist?
Would you like to help people hear better? Do you want to help treat people with debilitating vertigo? As an audiologist, you might treat people of all ages for hearing disorders and inner ear problems. Read on to find out more about the training it takes to become an audiologist. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
An audiologist is a health care specialist who treats ear-related problems in patients of all ages. You might prescribe hearing aids and program cochlear implants and demonstrate to patients how to use these devices. You might also provide consultation on reducing hearing damage for workers in environments with loud noises or pressure changes, such as those in the industrial manufacturing, music or air travel business. Routine tasks may include cleaning a patient's ears, screening patients for hearing loss or balance problems and training patients on effective modifications to communication.
In order to practice as an audiologist, most states require that you complete a graduate degree in audiology. It is becoming increasingly common for states to require that licensed audiologists have completed a doctoral degree and have the designation Au.D. While enrolled you may expect to take classes in anatomy of the auditory system, hearing diagnostics, clinical research, rehabilitation and other advanced topics. Most programs also require you to complete a minimum number of supervised practical experience hours.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all 50 states require audiologists to be licensed (www.bls.gov). Requirements for an audiology license vary, but typically include meeting education requirements. To maintain licensing in many states you may be required to complete continuing education classes. Some states also require additional licensing for you to be able to dispense hearing aids.
Though not required, you might choose to pursue certification by a professional organization, such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The ASHA offers the Certificate in Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) to candidates with a doctoral degree in audiology(www.asha.org). The CCC-A certification exam consists of 120 questions and lasts about two hours.
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