California Licensing Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers
The profession of hearing aid dispenser is regulated at the state level and each state maintains its own standards for licensure or registration.
Initial Licensure Requirements
- be 18 years of age or older
- have a high school diploma or its equivalent
- has not committed acts or crimes constituting grounds for denial of licensure
- have passed a written and practical test
Reciprocity is not addressed in the law/regulations.
All licensees shall complete nine hours of continuing education per year, and not more than three hours of continuing education may be credited in any of the following areas related to hearing aids: ethics (including the ethics of advertising and marketing) or business practices.
A trainee licensee must supervised by a licensed dispenser or a dispensing audiologist. Twenty percent direct supervision is required. The written exam must be taken within 10 months of licensure. If the written exam is failed, 100% supervision is required.
A temporary licensee has been licensed in another state to dispense hearing aids and has dispensed hearing aids for the two years immediately preceding submission of the application. The license enables the applicant to practice before taking the exams, is valid for one year, and is not renewable. If the applicants fail either the written or practical examination, they must obtain a supervisor and be supervised 100% of the time to continue dispensing hearing aids until the exam is passed.
Audiologists may dispense under the audiology license provided the audiologist has passed both the written and practical exams in hearing aid dispensing; dispensing audiologists will be issued a dispensing audiologist license.
The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board consists of two speech-language pathologists; two audiologists, one of whom must be a dispensing audiologist; and two hearing aid dispensers, all to be appointed by the governor. The governor also has the appointing authority for a public member seat which shall be occupied by a licensed physician and surgeon, board certified in otolaryngology. Two other public member seats are to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly, respectively.
The Hearing Aid Dispensers Committee under the full Board shall be comprised of both the two audiology and hearing aid dispenser board members, one public member of the Board, and the Otolaryngologist.
A hearing aid trial period is not addressed in the law/regulations.
Mail Order/Internet Sales
Hearing aids may be sold by catalog or direct mail provided that:
- The seller is licensed as a hearing aid dispenser in the state.
- There is no fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to fitting, selection, or adaptation of the instrument and no advice is given with respect to the taking of an ear impression for an earmold by the seller.
- The seller has received a statement which is signed by a physician and surgeon, audiologist, or a hearing-aid dispenser, licensed by the state of California which verifies that the conditions for referral and the direct observation of the purchaser's ear canals have been complied with.
The information contained herein was collected and summarized annually. For detailed information on hearing aid dispenser requirements, contact the state board and visit these websites:
Hearing Aid Dispensers Licensing Law
Hearing Aid Dispensers Licensing Regulations
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.