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Become A Dispensing Audiologist

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Working As A Dispensing Audiologist

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Dispensing Audiologist Do

Audiologists diagnose, manage, and treat a patient’s hearing, balance, or related ear problems. 

Duties

Audiologists typically do the following:

  • Examine patients who have hearing, balance, or related ear problems
  • Assess the results of the examination and diagnose problems
  • Determine and administer treatment to meet patients’ goals
  • Provide treatment for tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ear
  • Fit and dispense hearing aids
  • Counsel patients and their families on ways to listen and communicate, such as by lip reading or through technology
  • Evaluate patients regularly to check on hearing and balance and to continue or change the treatment plan
  • Record patient progress
  • Research the causes and treatment of hearing and balance disorders
  • Educate patients on ways to prevent hearing loss

Audiologists use audiometers, computers, and other devices to test patients’ hearing ability and balance. They work to determine the extent of hearing damage and identify the underlying cause. Audiologists measure the loudness at which a person begins to hear sounds and the person’s ability to distinguish between sounds and understand speech.

Before determining treatment options, audiologists evaluate psychological information to measure the impact of hearing loss on a patient. Treatment may include cleaning wax out of ear canals, fitting and checking hearing aids, or fitting the patient with cochlear implants to improve hearing. Cochlear implants are tiny devices that are placed under the skin near the ear and deliver electrical impulses directly to the auditory nerve in the brain. This allows a person with certain types of deafness to be able to hear.

Audiologists also counsel patients on other ways to cope with profound hearing loss, such as by learning to lip read or by using technology. 

Audiologists can help a patient suffering from vertigo or other balance problems. They work with patients and provide them with exercises involving head movement or positioning that might relieve some of their symptoms.

Some audiologists specialize in working with the elderly or with children. Others educate the public on hearing loss prevention. Audiologists may design products to help protect the hearing of workers on the job. Audiologists who are self-employed hire employees, keep records, order equipment and supplies, and complete other tasks related to running a business.

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How To Become A Dispensing Audiologist

Audiologists need a doctoral degree and must be licensed in all states. Requirements for licensure vary by state.

Education

The doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) is a graduate program that typically takes 4 years to complete. A bachelor’s degree in any field is needed to enter one of these programs.

Graduate coursework includes anatomy, physiology, physics, genetics, normal and abnormal communication development, diagnosis and treatment, pharmacology, and ethics. Programs also include supervised clinical practice. Graduation from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation is required to get a license in most states.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Audiologists must be licensed in all states. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact your state’s licensing board for audiologists.

Audiologists can earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A), offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. They also may be credentialed through the American Board of Audiology. Certification can be earned by graduating from an accredited doctoral program and passing a standardized exam. Certification may be required by some states or employers. Some states may allow certification in place of some education or training requirements needed for licensure.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Audiologists need to communicate test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments, so patients clearly understand the situation and options. They also may need to work on teams with other healthcare providers and education specialists regarding patient care.

Compassion. Audiologists work with patients who may be frustrated or emotional because of their hearing or balance problems. Audiologists should be empathetic and supportive of patients and their families.

Critical-thinking skills. Audiologists must concentrate when testing a patient’s hearing and be able to analyze each patient’s situation, to offer the best treatment. They must also be able to provide alternative plans when patients do not respond to initial treatment. 

Patience. Audiologists must work with patients who may need a lot of time and special attention.

Problem-solving skills. Audiologists must figure out the causes of problems with hearing and balance and determine the appropriate treatment or treatments to address them.

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Dispensing Audiologist Typical Career Paths

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Dispensing Audiologist Demographics

Gender

Female

48.7%

Male

43.6%

Unknown

7.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

13.1%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

German

16.7%

Danish

16.7%

Swedish

16.7%

French

16.7%
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Dispensing Audiologist Education

Schools

Salus University

13.3%

University of Arizona

10.0%

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

6.7%

University of North Texas

6.7%

Nova Southeastern University

6.7%

California State University - Los Angeles

6.7%

University of Southern Mississippi

6.7%

University of Connecticut

3.3%

University of Florida

3.3%

Rush University

3.3%

University of Alabama

3.3%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

3.3%

Ohio University -

3.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.3%

Vanderbilt University

3.3%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.3%

Central Michigan University

3.3%

University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center

3.3%

University of Louisville

3.3%

University of Puerto Rico - Medical Sciences Campus

3.3%
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Majors

Speech-Language Pathology

63.0%

Communication Disorders Sciences

15.2%

Special Education

4.3%

Education

4.3%

Psychology

4.3%

Physiology And Anatomy

2.2%

Clinical Psychology

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Human Resources Management

2.2%
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Degrees

Masters

39.1%

Doctorate

32.6%

Other

15.2%

Bachelors

6.5%

Certificate

6.5%
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Top Skills for A Dispensing Audiologist

  1. Hearing Aid Evaluations
  2. Patient Care
  3. Audiological Evaluations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed hearing tests, hearing aid evaluations, and hearing aid fittings in the office and in the field.
  • Provided complete audiological evaluations to determine patient candidacy for amplification as well as selection and fitting of appropriate devices.
  • Increased hearing aid sales in a new retail hearing aid center which was under performing due to personnel turnover.
  • Experience working with Oticon, Siemens, and Phonak hearing aids.
  • Instructed patients in the safe and effective use hearing instruments and assistive technology.

How Would You Rate Working As a Dispensing Audiologist?

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