Audiologists are professionals who rehabilitate and diagnose patients suffering from hearing and balance disorders. It is important that they should not be confused with medical doctors; in contrast, they are referred to as allied health professionals. This means that they belong to a cluster of health professionals that are of diverse vocations and have been trained to be experts in their respective fields. Allied health professionals can work on their own or with other health professionals in a team setting. This particular branch of clinical health care includes occupations which are distinct from medical, dental and nursing professions. In the case of audiologists, they can be seen as doctors in a sense that, they need to attain a doctoral degree in audiology (called an AuD) to practice the profession. Comparable to physicians, they have undergone and acquired years of education to become a specialist in their chosen field. Aside from earning a bachelor’s degree, the aspiring audiologist has to study for a four-year doctoral degree. Their work usually involves but is not limited to the following: identifying hearing and balance problems, evaluating patients who have hearing and ear-related problems, the dispensing of hearing aids, administer exams and assess results and keep track of a patient’s progress. Given that, you might have been wondering, how much does an audiologist make? Hence, let us shed more light into the matter and discuss about a typical audiologist salary.
In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics computed a median wage of $66,660 for audiologists in 2010. That amount is equivalent to a rate of $32.05 per hour. In addition, the job outlook for audiologists from the year 2010 to 2020 is seen to be positive. A growth of 37 percent is expected during the said duration of time.  Moreover, CareerCast.com, a website dedicated to job search, advice and rankings, lists being an audiologist as one of the best jobs of 2012. It landed on the sixth spot (in 2011, it was ranked ninth). The list includes other occupations which they deem to be most ideal in terms of the work environment, physical demands, job outlook, income levels and stress. You can check more of the list through this link. The job prospects for an audiologist are relative to the number of individuals who are diagnosed with balance and hearing problems. Hence, an aging population will most likely need the help of audiologists as hearing problems become more evident as people get older. In addition, they also assist in screening infants to detect if they have any issues with their hearing at such an early stage. There has been a reported shortage of audiologists due to the factors mentioned earlier. In addition, more developments in the field such as improving hearing aids and making devices more sophisticated contribute to this demand.  The skills of an audiologist actually comes in handy in a lot of other situations considering that there can be many scenarios involving hearing impairment. For instance, their skills are needed in a variety of places such as in schools, clinics, health departments, research laboratories, rehabilitation centers and other facilities that seek the assistance of a hearing specialist. Audiologists usually work alongside other health practitioners when examining a patient. To become a practicing audiologist, a license or certification would be required depending on the location. There are also other requirements such as completing supervised clinical experience for a set amount of time.
Audiology may not seem to be a very ideal or popular career path for the majority, but getting more insights from this field definitely helps you understand and appreciate the nature of this branch of healthcare. Highlighting an audiologist salary and the prospects for the occupation might have even sparked more interest for you in the field. If you come to think of it, it is a job that will surely make you feel rewarded. That is, considering the people that you deal with and the kind of services that you get to render to them. To become an audiologist, one needs to be compassionate, patient and supportive. Communication is also a key for the audiologist to easily relate to others; thus having a good grasp of the patient’s condition. There are a lot of other qualities that audiologists should have so that they may efficiently carry out their work. All those years of training and the traits that they possess truly demonstrate how audiologists are remarkable professionals.
- “Audiologists”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- “Demand for audiologists increasing”. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved August 19, 2013.