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how to become an audiologist

how to become an audiologist

You don’t need to go to medical school to become an audiologist

If you love working with sound and want to help people get the most out of their hearing, you’ll probably enjoy a career as an audiologist! These health professionals who diagnose and treat hearing and balance conditions are in high demand in the US and around the world. Read on to learn what you should do to start a satisfying career in audiology.

[Edit]things you should know

  • To become an audiologist, earn a bachelor’s degree followed by a doctorate in audiology (AuD).
  • Pass the Praxis exam after you graduate from your doctoral program to become licensed in the state in which you wish to work.
  • Join professional associations and seek optional certification to increase your chances of obtaining the desired position.
  • Expect to earn approximately $78,950 per year as an audiologist, depending on your work environment and where you are located.



  1. Bachelor’s degree {endbold} All audiology programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in the program. It doesn’t matter what you major in, but most audiologists major in something related to audiology, such as speech-language pathology or biology.[1]
    Become an Audiologist Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • When you’re an undergraduate, it’s a good idea to take courses in anatomy, physiology, and statistics. These courses provide a foundation of knowledge that will serve you well in your audiology program.
  2. Master’s degree (optional) {endbold} While a master’s degree is not required before earning a doctorate in audiology, it can be beneficial and help you stand out from other audiologists. A master’s degree in speech-language pathology also gives you some clinical experience before starting your doctorate.[2]
    Become an Audiologist Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If you plan to take some time to work before obtaining your doctorate, a master’s is also a good choice because you will have the ability to work as a speech-language pathologist, thereby gaining valuable experience in the field. will receive.
  3. Doctoral degree (AuD or Ph.D.) {endbold} The Doctorate in Audiology program is designed to take 4 years and you can enter directly from undergraduate. The first 2 years include foundational courses in acoustics, auditory rehabilitation, hearing problems and balance disorders. You will also learn how to test hearing and amplify sounds as well as how to diagnose and treat various hearing and balance disorders. The last 2 years are mainly devoted to research and clinical work.[3]
    Become an Audiologist Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • The American Speech-Language Hearing Association publishes a list of accredited audiology programs in the US. The list includes a website link and contact information for each program.
  4. Clinical Externship {endbold} Your clinical externship lasts the final year of your doctoral program and gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in a clinical setting with real patients. You will usually start applying for choice positions in your third year. If you want to specialize, it’s important to do an outside search that focuses on that specialty.[4]
    Become an Audiologist Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you want to work with children, you might look for an externship at a school or children’s hospital.
    • Competition for some externships can be fierce, but your school has plenty of resources to help you make the most of the application and interview process so that you can find the externship that best suits your needs and interests. .
    • Externship positions are not paid, nor do they qualify as “experience” for your resume. Rather, they require you to have earned your doctoral degree.

[Edit]Licensing and Certification

  1. Practice Exams{endbold} The practice exams, provided by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), test your knowledge in 5 categories: Foundations of Audiology, Prevention and Screening, Assessment, Intervention, and Professional and Ethical Responsibilities. You’ll learn more about the specifics of the exam through your Audiology program, including where to access study materials and how to register.[5]
    Become an Audiologist Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • The specific score you need to pass varies depending on the state where you want to practice. The American Academy of Audiology provides a list of state regulations that you can use to compare requirements.
  2. State Licensure {endbold} An AuD or Ph.D. And passing scores on the Praxis exam are the main requirements for state licensure. Each state has its own application process and timeline for licensure issuance, but generally, you can begin the process immediately after graduation.[6]
    Become an Audiologist Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association provides contact information for each state’s licensing board.
  3. Optional Certifications{endbold} No states require any additional certifications beyond the original state licensure, but they can help you show your expertise in a particular specialty, such as pediatrics or cochlear implants. Some employers will pay slightly more for audiologists with certification.[7]
    Become an Audiologist Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Certification is offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Board of Audiology.

[Edit]job duties

  1. Diagnose hearing, balance and related disorders. Audiologists review patients’ case histories and perform hearing tests and other investigations to diagnose or rule out specific disorders related to the auditory system. They may also refer patients to other specialists for additional testing.[8]
    Become an Audiologist Step 8.jpg
    • Some tests administered by audiologists are designed to measure a patient’s functional hearing as well as to assess any nerve damage.
    • Audiologists may have technicians perform specific tests, but they are ultimately responsible for interpreting the results and making a diagnosis.
  2. Treat hearing, balance and related disorders. This includes fitting hearing aids and other assistive devices to patients and teaching patients how to operate those devices. It may also include other treatments, such as cleaning ear wax from the patient’s ears.[9]
    Become an Audiologist Step 9.jpg
    • Audiologists cannot prescribe medications to treat hearing or balance issues, but they can refer patients to other specialists. They can recommend over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the patient’s symptoms.
    • If a patient potentially needs surgery to correct their hearing or balance problems, an audiologist refers them to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. Audiologists do not perform surgeries themselves.
  3. Educating and counseling patients. In this role, the audiologist informs patients about things they can do to prevent further hearing loss and gives advice that can help them cope with existing hearing loss. Audiologists also talk to family members about ways they can communicate with the patient.[10]
    Become an Audiologist Step 10.jpg
    • In cases of severe hearing loss, audiologists may also train patients on lip reading or the use of other assistive technology.

[Edit]Salary and Job Outlook

  1. Audiologists in the US earn approximately $78,950 per year. Your income depends somewhat on your location and your work environment: Hospitals pay more ($94,690) than private doctor’s offices ($78,070). The longer you work in the field, the more you can expect to earn.[11]
    Become an Audiologist Step 11.jpg
    • Most audiologists work full time, but there are also part-time and contract audiologists. Contract audiologists usually work at several different facilities, so they spend a good deal of time traveling.
  2. Employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 10% from 2021-2031. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) makes this projection partly based on the aging baby-boom population. However, audiologists are expected to grow faster than health care positions in general (9%) and twice as fast as all occupations (5%).[12]
    Become an Audiologist Step 12.jpg
    • If you are just thinking about a career in Audiology and still have 8-10 years of school to complete, here is good news for you. By the time you graduate, the career will be in high demand. You have chosen a good time to start!


  • Join a professional organization while you are pursuing your AuD or Ph.D. They have lots of resources that can help you stay in school and look for a position once you graduate.
  • The two main professional organizations for audiologists in the US are the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


  • This article focuses on Audiology careers in the US. If you live in another country, education and licensing requirements may be different.


  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-4
  2. https://www.unt.edu/academics/grad/audiology-speech-language-pathology
  3. https://saa.audiology.org/education-2/undergrad-programs/applying-to-audiology-gradu-school/
  4. https://saa.audiology.org/career-resources/externships/
  5. https://saa.audiology.org/externship-blog-series-studying-for-the-praxis/
  6. https://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-4
  8. https://www.asha.org/policy/SP2018-00353/
  9. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-2
  10. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-2
  11. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-5
  12. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-6


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