About Audiology Careers

What is an audiologist, and what do they do?

Audiologists are health care professionals who specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Audiologists work with people of all ages to address these types of disorders. Most people already know that audiologists test the hearing of children and adults and fit hearing aids when needed. But audiologists do a lot more than that! Audiologists also do these important jobs:

  • Activate and program cochlear implants for children and adults
  • Work with people with cancer who have hearing loss due to ototoxic drugs used to treat cancer
  • Help veterans with hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) due to noise exposure (e.g., gunfire, explosions)

Learn more about audiologists’ full scope of practice or take a closer look at audiology careers.

Where do audiologists work?

Health Care Settings

Nearly three-quarters of audiologists are employed in health care settings, including nonresidential health care facilities, in hospitals, and in residential health care facilities.

Audiologists working in health care facilities may do any of the following jobs:

  • Design rehabilitation programs to help patients learn to identify sounds
  • Perform newborn hearing screenings based on otoacoustic emissions (OAE)
  • Educate individuals on the use and care/maintenance of hearing aids or other assistive listening devices
  • Work with young adults with traumatic brain injuries that impact balance and hearing

Private Practice

More than one quarter of audiologists are employed full or part time in private practice. They may be owners, full-time employees, or contractors/consultants in a private practice.

Early Intervention and K–12 Schools

Audiologists may be employed in educational settings, including infant and toddler programs, preschools, and elementary and secondary schools.

Audiologists working in early intervention may do any of the following jobs:

  • Visit families’ homes to provide comprehensive information about family support, training, and communication options for children with hearing loss
  • Activate and program cochlear implants in infants and toddlers
  • Provide hearing screenings to preschool children in Head Start programs

Audiologists working in K–12 schools may do any of the following jobs:

  • Counsel children to promote personal responsibility, self-advocacy, and social awareness for their communication needs
  • Provide instructional training to educators and staff for the development of skills needed in servicing students with hearing difficulties; this training includes providing evidence and recommending support services and resources
  • Provide (re)habilitative activities in collaboration with classroom teachers and other support personnel
  • Assist with transitions between academic and vocational settings for high school students

Colleges and Universities

Audiologists have opportunities for teaching, research, and clinical supervisory positions at colleges and universities. They may work with clients in the university clinical facility or its affiliated health care facility.

Specifically, audiologists with research doctoral degrees may do any of the following jobs:

  • Make new discoveries about hearing and balance disorders
  • Teach courses and mentor students in research, teaching, and clinical practice
  • Serve on advisory boards as experts in communication disorders
  • Educate the public about communication development and disorders

Audiologists with a clinical doctoral degree may work as clinical supervisors for graduate students in university clinics.

What is the job outlook for audiologists?

High Demand

Audiologists have consistently been in demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook predicting much faster than average growth in the projected percent change in employment. Jobs for audiologists exist across the United States, with positions available in urban, suburban, and rural communities. 

High Salaries

According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for audiologists consistently tops the median annual wage for all workers. In May 2022, the median annual wage for audiologists was $82,680.

According to ASHA Member surveys, the salaries of audiologists vary depending on education, experience, work setting, and geographical location, with average salaries ranging from $75,500 for audiologists with 1–3 years experience to $122,400 for audiologists with a PhD. For more information about salaries from ASHA Member surveys, visit Salary and Wage Data.

What education do I need to become an audiologist?

A clinical doctoral degree (AuD) is required to work independently as an audiologist.

  • An AuD requires approximately 3–4 years of full-time study.
  • Degree requirements include both academic coursework and clinical practicum experiences.

Applicants to AuD programs must have an undergraduate degree. An undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) is generally not required for admission to AuD programs, but applicants may be required to take prerequisite coursework as part of their graduate program. Students can use EdFind, ASHA’s online search tool, to identify clinical doctoral programs in audiology and their requirements.

What is an audiologist assistant?

An audiology assistant is a person who, after appropriate training and demonstration of competency, performs delegated tasks that are prescribed, directed, and supervised by a certified and/or licensed audiologist. Audiology assistants my provide the following types of services (if permitted by state law and when the assistant has demonstrated competence):

  • Perform pure-tone hearing screening and universal newborn hearing screening tests
  • Conduct hearing and tympanometric screening on older children and adults (without interpretation)
  • Assist audiologists in treatment programs
  • Serve as translators, interpreters, and/or cultural brokers

Read more about this exciting career option through ASHA’s Practice Portal page on audiology assistants.

Each state has different requirements regarding the regulation of audiology assistants. Assistants may be required to be licensed, certified, or registered in order to work in various states. For information about regulations in your specific state, see the ASHA State-by-State information and select the "Support Personnel" subheading after choosing the individual state.

ASHA established the Assistants Certification Program and examination for audiology assistants in 2020. This is a voluntary credential that establishes nationwide standards for assistants that will show employers that these standards have been met. To learn more about the Audiology Assistants Certification Program, visit the Assistants Certification site.

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