When it comes to working in the health care industry, there are literally hundreds of different career paths that you can pursue. For people that are not interested in spending years and years in school to become a doctor, many choose a career in one of the allied health related positions. These positions provide great career options and a competitive salary. One career choice worth considering is audiology.
What is audiology?
Audiology is a career path that falls into the allied health category. More specific, it is a form of communication sciences that studies hearing and hearing related diseases in people. Therefore an audiologist is the health care professional or specialist that you would go see if you were having hearing related issues. They perform examinations to assess your hearing and look for issues related to balance, hearing loss and disorders that have negative impact your ability to hear correctly.
Many also engage in rehabilitation for those that have partially or complete lost their hearing. They also work with patents that use or require hearing aids and other listening devices. Audiologists can also work with other practitioners such as nose and throat specialists to identify issues with your ear and auditory functions.
Other duties include:
• Counselling families about hearing loss
• Working with infants that experience hearing loss
• Hearing safety advocacy
• Newborn hearting screening
• School hearing program participation
• Development and creation of custom fitting ear plugs and hearing safety devices
• Research and development related to hearing and auditory science
Audiologists work in a number of different settings such as in hospitals, medical centers, doctors’ offices and private medical facilities. Therefore, there is opportunity to work in a number of different settings and with a diverse range of patients.
Depending on your experience and the type of organization that you work for, you can expect a salary in the range of $ 60,000-$ 70,000 annually. However, top earners in this field tend to work in private practices and can make up to $ 100,000 per year, making the years that you spend in school to get your education worthwhile.
If you are considering a career as an audiologist you will be required to complete an undergraduate degree in health science as well as a Master’s of Science in Audiology in most countries. However, in the United States you are also required to complete a PhD in audiology.
Since it is a specialized medical practice, this program is not offered by all academic institutions, especially at the doctorate level. Therefore, you will need to do your research and look for schools in your area that offer this degree option.
Depending on where you live, you will also be required to register with the appropriate regulatory body in your area. If you do not register, you will not legally be able to practice, which is common with many positions within the health care industry in Canada and the United States.