How to become a Audiologist

Audiologists test hearing and assess the nature of hearing disorders. They are responsible for the non-medical management and rehabilitation of hearing loss and associated disorders of communication.

Personal requirements of a Audiologist

  • Able to inspire confidence and cooperation
  • A sympathetic and tactful approach to people’s problems
  • Good communication skills
  • Analytical ability

Education & Training for a Audiologist

To become an audiologist you usually have to study biomedicine, biological science, health science or a related field at university, followed by a postgraduate qualification in audiology. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Audiologist

Audiologists may perform the following tasks:

  • establish a client’s problems with hearing and listening by conducting interviews and studying background information (such as medical history)
  • assess the extent of hearing loss and location of the problem using a wide range of techniques, including audiometric tests such as air and bone conduction tests
  • report results of assessment and testing in writing and make referrals to medical practitioners
  • provide rehabilitation programs, such as counselling and guidance, for the hearing-impaired and their families
  • assess hearing levels of workers, such as pilots or members of the armed forces, when required by employers
  • prescribe, fit and evaluate hearing aids and other devices, such as cochlear implants
  • provide training in communication strategies such as lip reading and in the use of auditory and other devices
  • conduct follow-up consultations after hearing aids have been fitted to ensure clients receive the clearest amplification
  • assist with the development and management of noise control and hearing conservation strategies in industry
  • act as consultants on industrial compensation claims for work-related hearing loss
  • undertake scientific research related to sound and hearing
  • teach the science of audiology and its practice
  • direct projects and act as consultants to other professional groups
  • supervise student audiologists.

Working conditions for a Audiologist

Audiologists liaise with other health professionals such as otologists (ear specialists), speech pathologists, psychologists and doctors, as well as staff in educational settings. They may travel to country areas where there are no resident audiologists.

Employment Opportunities for a Audiologist

Audiologists are employed by Australian Hearing, major hospitals, community health centres or in academic research or teaching positions. They often work in association with medical practitioners specialising in ear, nose and throat disorders. Employment opportunities are also available in private practice, as well as in special education or industrial audiology. Demand depends on factors such as population growth, the ageing of the population, public sector funding and policies affecting the cost of services to consumers. There are opportunities for part-time work.

Additional Information
Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Check. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Graduates are eligible for full membership of Audiology Australia. A Certificate of Clinical Practice is recognised by the society as the benchmark for undertaking the clinical practice of audiology in Australia. Clinical certificates require at least 12 months of supervised clinical practice. Contact Audiology Australia for details.
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