Audiologists are the medical professionals that treat and manage health issues related to the ear or balance. Audiologists work in hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, and school districts. They collaborate with other health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses.
To become an audiologist, you need to pursue a doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) after first completing your bachelor's degree. The following are five schools that offer degrees in audiology:
- Auburn University: This university in Alabama offers a Doctor of Audiology program that gives students both academic and clinical experience, with increased emphasis on the clinical aspects as the degree progresses.
- Northeastern University: This Boston, Massachusetts based university offers a graduate degree in audiology that prepares students to rehabilitate patients with hearing and balance issues in a wide variety of settings.
- San Diego State University: SDSU's audiology program provides students with the clinical skills and professional standards necessary to practice as an audiologist, and accepts students from a wide variety of science backgrounds.
- University of Colorado: The Doctorate of Audiology at the University of Colorado is a program designed for students entering into the subject for the first time and develops clinical competencies, as well as evidence-based practice.
- University of Connecticut: The audiology program at this state university prepares students for careers in both academic and clinical settings. It also offers a dual degree that allows students to complete their Au.D. and Ph.D. degrees simultaneously.
Audiologist Education Requirements
The doctoral degree in audiology takes about four years to complete. Before entering the program, students must attain their bachelor's degree; it is helpful if the bachelor's degree is in a science-related field.
Coursework commonly includes:
- Communication development
- Diagnosis and treatment
In addition to the academic curriculum, most programs require an internship at a clinic. There students gain practical experience in the field in a supervised setting.
In order to attain licensing, which is required to practice as an audiologist in all states, an individual must graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation.
Audiologist Certification and Licensing
Though all states require licensing, the requirements for licensing vary from state to state. For more information, contact the licensing board for audiologists in the state in which you plan to practice.
Certificates offer additional training and may be a requirement in some states. Some employers may also prefer a candidate who has attained certification. The following two organizations offer certification in audiology by passing an exam:
- The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- The American Board of Audiology
Further training and certifications help audiologists stay updated on new technologies and practices, while experience in the field brings expertise in important soft skills, such as communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving.
Resources for Audiologists and Speech Pathologists
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- American Board of Audiology
- American Academy of Audiology
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ocuupational Outlook Handbook, Audiologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm
- Auburn University, http://www.cla.auburn.edu/communicationdisorders/audiology/
- Northeastern University, http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/csd/programs/doctor-of-audiology/
- San Diego State University, https://slhs.sdsu.edu/programs/aud/overview/
- University of Connecticut, http://slhs.uconn.edu/au-d-program/
- University of Colorado, http://www.colorado.edu/slhs/graduate/doctorate-audiology