Do you have an interest in sound and hearing and would like to help those that have hearing problems? Then you might want to consider becoming an audiologist. Audiologists are able to diagnose and treat individuals with hearing, balance and other ear related problems. Audiologists not only diagnose and treat hearing issues but they can do research as well as collaborate with occupational specialists and develop treatment plans. You need to keep in mind that you will need to be good in science.
It helps if you thought ahead and took science courses in high school such as anatomy, biology, chemistry and math as this will better prepare you for college.
You’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) and a college entrance exam (SAT/ACT). This will allow you to enroll in college.
You’ll need to get a bachelor’s degree in science with courses such as biology, biochemistry, math, physics and communication. To determine what courses you need to take, you need to consider the graduate school you will go to. They can tell you what prerequisites you need to satisfy their requirements. You’ll be pleased to know that online coursework is available for audiologist.
Once you have your bachelor’s degree you can apply to a master’s or doctoral program in auditory. Keep in mind that if you live in the U.S., state requirements vary. Some states require that you have a doctorate’s degree while others accept a masters.
Your graduate coursework generally includes higher level anatomy and physiology, neurology and pharmacology but each school will be different in the courses that they offer.
You’ll need to do an internship with a licensed audiologist which takes somewhere between 300 and 400 hours to complete. You may also be required to fulfill clinical setting requirements as well.
Each state has its own requirements for obtaining a license. Check you states requirements before you take the licensing exam. If you plan on fitting hearing aids, you state may require a special exam for that.
In the U.S., some states require that you graduate from an American Speech-language-hearing Association (ASHA) accredited program so make sure the school you go to has this credential. You can get your certificate through ASHA or the American Board of Audiology if you want. Some campuses have the exam in house. As with many health care professions, you will need to take continuing education and this is necessary to be re-licensed as well as keep up-to-date.