California Licensing Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
The information below is collected from state licensure boards or regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the professions of speech-language pathology and/or audiology. It is intended for informational use only, and should not be construed as legal advice.
Contact the state's licensure board or regulatory agency for exact licensure, certification, or registration requirements in your jurisdiction.
Initial Licensure Requirements
- Effective January 2, 2010, audiology applicants who graduated from an approved audiology training program after January 1, 2008 must hold a doctorate degree in audiology from an educational institution approved by the state licensure board (the Board). The Board may accept qualifications it deems to be equivalent to a doctoral degree.
- Completion of a supervised clinical practice. The Board shall establish the required number of clock hours necessary. Such clinical practice shall be under the direction of an educational institution approved by the Board.
- Submit evidence of no less than 12 months of satisfactorily completed supervised professional full-time experience or its part-time equivalent obtained under the supervision of a licensed audiologist or an audiologist having qualifications deemed equivalent by the Board. This experience shall be completed under the direction of a board-approved audiology doctoral program. The required professional experience (RPE) shall follow completion of the didactic and clinical rotation requirements of the audiology doctoral program; fourth year AuD externship in another state under an approved training program is deemed equivalent to an RPE completed in California.
- Pass an exam approved by the Board.
Audiology (on or before December 31, 2007) and Speech-Language Pathology
- Master's degree in speech-language pathology or audiology from an educational institution approved by the Board (60 semester units)
- Completion of a 300 hour supervised clinical practice with a wide variety of ages and communication disorders under the direction of an educational institution approved by the Board
- Evidence of completion of no less than 36 weeks of supervised professional full-time experience or 72 weeks of professional part-time experience obtained under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist
- Passage of a Board-approved examination
- Licensed hearing aid dealers for hearing testing or the fitting or selling of hearing aids
- Public pre–12 school personnel from practicing speech-language pathology or audiology if properly credentialed and such persons do not offer services outside the school setting for monetary compensation
- Students properly identified as either speech-language pathology or audiology interns or trainees
- Public or private elementary or secondary school audiometrists
- Federal employees
- Required professional experience temporary licensee
Interim Practice/Temporary Licensure
- The Board may issue a temporary license for a period of 6 months from date of issuance to a speech-language pathologist or audiologist who holds an unrestricted license from another state or territory of the United States or who holds equivalent qualifications as determined by the Board and has submitted an application to the Board for a license.
- Persons obtaining the required professional experience for licensure must obtain a temporary license to commence experience.
- A person who obtains an RPE temporary license outside of California shall not be required to hold a temporary license if the person is completing the final clinical externship of an audiology doctoral training program.
Continuing Education for Licensure Renewal
- Speech-language pathologists and non-dispensing audiologists will be required to complete 24 clock hours of continuing education per license renewal period
- Dispensing audiologists will be required to complete 12 hours of continuing professional development per annual renewal; 50% of hours must be related to hearing aid dispensing
- The following have been granted pre-approved CE provider status: ASHA and ASHA CE providers, American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and AAA-approved providers, and the California Medical Association's Institute for Medical Quality Continuing Medical Education Program.
The Department of Consumer Affairs
The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board shall comprise nine members—two licensed speech-language pathologists, two licensed audiologists, one of whom shall be a dispensing audiologist, two hearing aid dispensers, one physician, board certified in otolaryngology and two public members; the Hearing Aid Dispensers Committee under the full board, shall be comprised of the two licensed audiologists and hearing aid dispenser Board members and the otolaryngologist.
Telehealth is viewed as mode of delivery of health care services, not a separate form of practice. There are no legal prohibitions to using technology in the practice of speech-language pathology, audiology, or hearing aid dispensing, as long as the practice is done by a California-licensed practitioner. Telehealth is not a telephone conversation, e-mail/instant messaging conversation, or fax; it typically involves the application of videoconferencing or store and forward technology to provide or support health care delivery.
The standard of care is the same whether the patient is seen in-person, through telehealth or other methods of electronically enabled health care. Practitioners need not reside in California, as long as they have a valid, current California license.
The laws govern the practice of speech-language pathology, audiology, and hearing aid dispensing, and no matter how communication is performed, the standards of care is no more or less. Practitioners using telehealth technologies to provide care to patients located in California must be licensed in California and must provide appropriate services and/or treatment to the patient.
California-Licensed SLPs, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers Practicing in Other States
Licensees intending to practice via telemedicine technology to treat patients outside of California should check with other state licensing boards. Most states require practitioners to be licensed, and some have enacted limitations to telemedicine practice or require or offer a special registration for interstate practice.
The information contained herein was collected and summarized annually. For detailed information on state licensure requirements, contact the state board and visit this website:
California SLP & Audiology and Hearing Aid Despensers Board
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.