Audiologists need a doctoral degree and must be licensed in all states. Requirements for licensure vary by state.
The doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) is a graduate program that typically takes 4 years to complete. A bachelor's degree in any field is needed to enter one of these programs.
Graduate coursework includes anatomy, physiology, physics, genetics, normal and abnormal communication development, diagnosis and treatment, pharmacology, and ethics. Programs also include supervised clinical practice. Graduation from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation is required to get a license in most states.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Audiologists must be licensed in all states. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact your state's licensing board for audiologists.
Audiologists can earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A), offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. They also may be credentialed through the American Board of Audiology. Certification can be earned by graduating from an accredited doctoral program and passing a standardized exam. Certification may be required by some states or employers. Some states may allow certification in place of some education or training requirements needed for licensure.
Communication skills. Audiologists need to communicate test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments, so patients clearly understand the situation and options. They also may need to work on teams with other healthcare providers and education specialists regarding patient care.
Compassion. Audiologists work with patients who may be frustrated or emotional because of their hearing or balance problems. Audiologists should be empathetic and supportive of patients and their families.
Critical-thinking skills. Audiologists must concentrate when testing a patient's hearing and be able to analyze each patient's situation, to offer the best treatment. They must also be able to provide alternative plans when patients do not respond to initial treatment.
Patience. Audiologists must work with patients who may need a lot of time and special attention.
Problem-solving skills. Audiologists must figure out the causes of problems with hearing and balance and determine the appropriate treatment or treatments to address them.