Tennessee Licensing Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers

The information below is collected from state licensure boards or regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the professions of hearing aid dispensers. The information is reviewed on an annual basis. Please be advised that laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.

Initial Licensure

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have an education equivalent to two years of accredited college level coursework
  • passed a written and practical exam.


Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist by reciprocity:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • education equivalent to two years of accredited college level course work;
  • holds a current, unrevoked or unsuspended, license from another state or country.
    • Out-of-state license issuance was based on passing the International Hearing Society or National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) exam.
      • Examination must have been proctored by a state licensing board member or designee in the state in which the applicant holds a current license.
      • A minimum score of 75% must have been achieved on each section of the written examination; or
    • Applicant holds a current certification by the National Board for Certification-Hearing Instruments Specialist (NBC-HIS).
    • An applicant must pass a written examination pertaining to Tennessee law relative to Hearing Instrument Specialists and also must pass a practical examination given by the Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists.

Interim Practice

Applicants must pass a state written and practical proficiency test for the apprentice license. The apprentice licensee shall function under the direct supervision of the sponsoring licensed hearing instrument specialist for a period of at least three months after passage of the council proficiency test, and during such three month period, the sponsoring licensed dispenser must make the final selection and fitting of the hearing instrument.

During the apprentice period, the apprentice licensee shall complete 60 classroom hours of prescribed coursework. The apprentice license will remain in effect no longer than one year and cannot be renewed.

Continuing Education

  • Each licensee registered with the Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists is required to successfully complete 20 hours of continuing education during the two calendar years (January 1–December 31) that precede the licensure renewal year.
  • Two hours of the 20-hour requirement shall pertain to Tennessee statutes and rules concerning hearing instrument specialists.

Audiologist Dispensing

Audiologists may dispense under an audiology license.

Trial Period

30 days from date of delivery

Mail Order/Internet Sales

Mail order dispensing and Internet sales are not addressed in the law/regulations.

Board Oversight

Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists


For further information on laws and regulations for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, please visit these websites:

Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.

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