The job outlook for audiologists from 2010-2020 is expected to grow 30+% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, significantly faster than average.
An audiologist is an ear specialist and normally works with patients that are having problems with their hearing, balance or any other problems related to the ears. Audiologists can work in school or educational environments as well as many other healthcare settings. The most common responsibilities of the audiologist would include identifying, assessing and treating hearing problems and balance disorders, ordering equipment, documenting treatments and discussing symptoms with the patient. Hearing aids play a large role in their work. Must keep up with the technology in the industry and be able to utilize the latest diagnostic tools available to determine the problem and the best treatment options. Hearing loss can also cause the patient stress. The audiologist needs to determine the level of stress it is causing and refer patient for the help they need to help with the stress if necessary.
Some skills required by an audiologist would include:
- The ability to communicate well with patients even with hearing issues.
- Patience and compassion to make the patient feel comfortable.
- Excellent bedside manner
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
- Excellent record keeping skills
The educational requirements to become an audiologist do require a doctoral degree in audiology. Normally this is a 4 year program and a bachelor’s degree in a medical field is required to qualify. Typical program curriculum consists of genetics, anatomy, communication development, physiology, pharmacology and diagnosis courses. Most programs also include an internship.