Audiologists generally work one-on-one with individuals who have problems related to the ear. They examine clients of all ages using up-to-date technology such as audiometers and computer-assisted devices in order to identify symptoms of hearing loss as well as difficulties with balance that are related to sensory and neural problems. They then recommend and fit hearing aids or suggest rehabilitation options that will help their clients cope with or correct their problems.
Some audiologists measure noise levels in the workplace and implement hearing protection programs in industries or in schools. More than half of all audiologists work in healthcare facilities some work in educational services and a small number have private practices. Audiologists need at least a master's degree in audiology but nowadays a doctoral degree is becoming more important. In fact as of 2009 18 States in the U.S. required a doctoral degree or equivalent for practicing audiologists. Thus a doctoral degree leads to better job prospects.
Among the courses taken at the graduate level are anatomy physics genetics physiology communication ethics as well as auditory balance and neural systems assessment and treatment. All 50 States in the U.S. regulate the licensure of audiologists with the specific requirements varying by state. Most states require continuing education courses to maintain the license. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) which may satisfy licensure requirements in some states.
According to Careerprofiles.com there may be job growth for audiologists because of the aging population and the greater number of special needs school children. However one barrier is that insurance companies are limiting reimbursements for audiology services. The median salary for audiologists with eight years of experience is approximately $62000.