Career Choice: Audiologist

Career Choice: Audiologist
  • Opening Intro -

    Patients with hearing problems and disorders will often be referred to an audiologist, a medical doctor experienced in helping people with hearing problems.


These professionals assess and treat patients, fitting them with hearing devices as needed. Some audiologists work as researchers, tasked with helping to lead the fight against hearing disorders including deafness.


Audiologists work as independent practitioners, accepting patient referrals for hearing evaluation as well as for hearing rehabilitation services. Audiologists provide counseling and instruction on improving hearing, typically with the assistance of a hearing aid. They evaluate hearing disorders and may program and monitor cochlear implants.

Audiologists also plan and conduct treatment programs to address hearing or balance problems and work with other healthcare professionals as needed including physicians, nurses and speech-language pathologists. Audiologists conduct hearing tests, using specialized equipment to evaluate patients.


College students considering a career in audiology must complete a bachelor’s degree first. Graduate work includes courses in physiology, anatomy and genetics, along with supervised clinical practice. Completing a program that has been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation is a licensure requirement in many states. Such programs provide a doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.), a four-year graduate program.


The median wage for audiologists was $68,390 in 2011 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pay ranged from $43,000 per year for audiologists in the 10th percentile to $101,200 for professionals in the 90th percentile. Audiologists in the 25th and 75th percentile earned $55,100 and $83,500 per year on average respectively.

Top average pay for audiologists can be found in New Jersey, Delaware and Hawaii with professionals in those states earning $87,500, $85,900 and $85,500 per year respectively. At the bottom of the pay scale range was Vermont where audiologists earned $53,900 per year on average in 2011. Tennessee at $55,400 and Louisiana at $55,800 also came in well below average.

Salaries of audiologists varied across metropolitan areas. For example, in the Dallas area the average salary was $87,500 per year, while in New York audiologists earned $87,400. Honolulu salaries were $86,200 per year. In New Orleans, wages came in well below the national average at $45,800 for some of the lowest salaries in the country.

Job Outlook

Job growth for all occupations is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020. For audiologists, that rate of increase will come in much higher with the BLS projecting a 37 percent increase.

Employment numbers for audiologists is small with 13,000 employed as of 2010. The BLS-projected rise should yield an additional 4,800 positions with other opportunities becoming available as doctors retire. Those professionals willing to relocate may find more opportunities available to them.


O*Net OnLine: Summary Report for: 29-1181.00 – Audiologists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Audiologists

See AlsoFastest Growing Occupations, College Degree or Not


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Categories: Career Planning