Some people focus on their interests or goals to simplify choosing a career path. Suppose you want a career that allows you to help people. You might focus on careers in health care.
Hearing loss and tinnitus affect millions of adults in the United States. Individuals interested in treating hearing and balance issues may opt to pursue a career as an audiologist.
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Let’s take a closer look at what audiologists do and how to prepare for a career in this field.
What do audiologists do?
People rely on their hearing to communicate and survive. Noises can warn you of danger, enabling you to take steps to protect yourself. Speech is a standard communication method, and people who cannot hear speech may struggle to form and maintain relationships.
Audiologists are highly trained health care professionals who diagnose patients and develop treatment plans. They can give a patient a hearing test to determine if they’ve lost hearing in one or both ears and the extent of their hearing loss. Loss of hearing of more than 35 decibels (dB) is considered disabling hearing loss.
Audiologists test whether you can hear sounds and determine if you can discriminate between different sounds. For example, some people experience loss of hearing at high frequencies and may have greater difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, such as birds, while hearing low-frequency sounds. After your audiological evaluation, your audiologists in West Orange, NJ, will explain your diagnosis and outline your treatment options.
What do you need to pursue a career in audiology?
After earning a bachelor’s degree, audiologists must earn a doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) from an accredited graduate program. Since audiologists spend at least eight years studying to prepare for their career, developing an academic plan in high school is helpful.
When you pursue a free consultation with a college admissions counselor, the counselor reviews your college application and identifies ways to strengthen your application. Pursuing online college counseling gives you expert feedback from admissions counselors with years of experience helping high school students prepare successful college applications. Your counselor will help you identify courses you should take suited to your career goals and college programs you should consider. They may also recommend extracurricular activities and internship opportunities to impress the college admissions review board.
You’ll benefit from completing undergraduate coursework in subjects such as communication development, anatomy, and physiology because you’ll study these subjects while earning your doctoral degree.
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You’ll also study pharmacology and genetics during your graduate studies.
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You can prepare for your career in high school by researching scholarship opportunities and ensuring you meet the criteria for multiple scholarships. Some scholarships focus on academic or artistic achievements. Other scholarships reward students who demonstrate leadership skills.
Once you’ve earned your degree in audiology, you must meet your state’s licensing requirements to work as an audiologist. Audiologists may also complete the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association requirements and receive a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). Some states require audiologists to receive certification from the American Board of Audiology.
Do aspiring audiologists have good job prospects?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the average job growth rate for all occupations to be 8 percent between 2020 and 2030. The BLS predicts audiologists will see job opportunities grow by 16 percent during this period, underscoring the high demand for qualified audiologists.
The BLS reports that the median income for audiologists was $81,030 per year as of May 2020. Audiologists working for hospitals averaged $86,940 per year, while audiologists working for educational services earned median annual incomes of $83,500. Those working in therapists’ or doctors’ offices earned slightly less than the median annual income for all audiologists.
Audiologists are health care professionals with doctoral degrees in their field. After graduating, they must fulfill their state’s licensing requirements to work in their field.