Hearing is one of the most important senses we have.
It does not only allow us to perceive sound through a complex mechanism that transforms external stimuli but also plays a significant role in our balance and motion.
The human hearing system is an intricated and delicate structure that can be affected by several injuries or illnesses.
When this happens, audition can be diminished or completely lost, or balance and movement problems can seriously impact a person’s life.
In the next few sections, we’ll review some of the basic information about professionals who focus on this sense, audiologists, what they do, how to become one, and how much it costs.
Table of Contents
What Is an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is a healthcare professional who studies and specializes in the hearing system.
Audiologists focus on injuries or illnesses that impact the auditory system as well as on how to prevent such problems and improve the lives of those affected.
What Does an Audiologist Do?
Audiologists evaluate, diagnose and treat auditory and balance problems that can be present in people of every age and sex.
They can provide and fit hearing devices to patients that are suffering from diminished hearing.
They can work in hospitals, private practices, schools, universities, and rehabilitation centers, among others.
Another important area of focus for Audiologists is research about hearing and balance disorders.
Should I Become an Audiologist?
As it happens with most of the careers in healthcare, it takes dedication and true vocation in order to become a professional in this area.
You will have to study for several years to obtain the appropriate degrees and continue to study throughout your career to keep up with new medical advancements in your chosen field.
If you enjoy helping others and are fascinated with the mechanical wonder that our hearing system is, then becoming an Audiologist might be the perfect career for you.
How Do I Become an Audiologist?
There are several requirements in order to become an Audiologist.
If you want to pursue this professional path, you must first earn a Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or have a major that includes Biology, Statistics, and Psychology.
You will then have to obtain a Master’s degree in Audiology to start focusing on this area.
After completing the Master’s, you will continue to pursue a doctoral degree, which can be a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or an ScD (Doctor of Science) in the hearing and balance sciences, or the most common one, which is an AuD, or Doctor of Audiology degree.
It’s important to mention that in some cases, a Master’s degree can be enough to become an Audiologist, yet nowadays, most of these professionals seek to have an AuD in order to have a more comprehensive knowledge of the area.
Certification and Licensing
Besides these degrees, you must take the official exam of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to gain the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in the field of Audiology, and state licensing exams, as well.
As we previously mentioned, continued education in the area is a must, since this will ensure that you stay updated with new strategies, treatments, and developments in the hearing field.
How Much Does Audiology School Cost?
The total cost of Audiology school mostly depends on the type of school you decide to enroll in, and the city where you live.
Tuition to obtain an AuD, usually is from $11,000 to $50,000 per year, according to the school you choose and if you are an in-state or out-of-state student.
Extra mandatory fees can be between $700 and $2,000 per year, as well.
The CCC exam in the field of Audiology costs $455 or $511 if you decide to also get the ASHA membership.