Audiology, anyone?

<p>My university just started a communication disorders undergraduate department, and as someone whose had a fair amount of interaction with the Deaf community, it got me thinking about audiology, a profession I've had in my head for quiet a while. I'm attracted by the physical/medical and clinical aspects of it (same as my attraction to psych and clinical social work, mixes well with my attraction to biology), but I've heard mix things about the job market if one does not want to open a private practice and the length/cost of schooling vs. income.</p>

<p>Any audiologists or others have any input?</p>

<p>Much thanks!</p>

<p>I sent you a PM.</p>

<p>Can't remember where I read it---but in a magazine article, audiology was in the top 10 of "best careers" recently.</p>

<p>My SIL is an audiologist and loves it. It has also allowed her great flexibility. She works part-time for the school system doing hearing tests and managing hearing aids for children and also works part-time at an ENT office. She easily could have full time employment, but the part-time hours work better for her family life.</p>

<p>I am a speech pathologist. In the district I work for (large district, 20+ elementary schools, 5 large high schools) the stressed out nurses do all the hearing screenings.We have 2 hearing specialists ( I don't think they are audiologists) that go to the schools to help those with hearing aids or other devices.</p>

<p>Google "American Speech Language Hearing Association". When you get to that site, you will see a link for "students" in the upper right of the screen. Click there. Go to academic programs (or something like that) to see about the courses of study and what it takes to be licensed and certified. Also, there is much information on that site for prospective audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Both great professions with lots of job ops.</p>

<p>Audiologist here. (Thumper, you too?)</p>

<p>I recently read in the NYTimes or on line somewhere about job prospects/careers/salary and Audiology was near the top. My husband and kids nearly fell on the floor laughing. I was insulted by them!!</p>

<p>You now need an AUD, doctorate of Audiology (clinical degree vs Audiology PhD which is more researched based.) It is 4 years, but from what I know, the forth year is just practicum, that we all did after our 2 years of Masters. So the AUD program is really 3 years of school. </p>

<p>I think the job prospects are much better and diversified for Speech Pathology and you don't need the doctorate, however, I was like you. I started as a bio major, loved the medical aspects of audiology. Audiology is a much harder post grad program than speech, but worth it. </p>

<p>If you want the summers off, school vacation schedule, then speech is the way to go with a job in the school system. Good benefits too. </p>

<p>Audiology jobs are full time and part time. Some of us piece them together. I had a full time job (hospital, then hospital and ENT office, then organization for the mentally retarded), then moved to part time. Now I work for 4 different organizations- each a different day of the week, part time. Works for me. </p>

<p>Jobs do open up, but not so often and not necessarily what you are looking for. If you want to work in the public schools, you need, or at least used to, need a teaching certificate which requires some courses at your University.) You may not need it to consult in the schools. Most schools local to me have a consulting audiologist brought in as needed and very few districts have a part-time or full time audiologist on staff. </p>

<p>Opening a hearing aid business is costly and time consuming, but those in it do very well. </p>

<p>Hard to tell you to pursue it or not. It's worked for me, although my best friend (about to be an unemployed Audiologist in January as her place of employment is closing down audiology then to save money) and I have discussed many times over the 25 years we've known one another/worked together that we should have been OT's, PT's or PA's. Much more job opportunities (and until recently you didn't need a Masters degree). </p>

<p>Give it thought. Over Winter break, go visit some audiologists in different settings. Talk to and visit OT's/PT's too. take your time deciding. </p>

<p>PM me if you want more information. Where are you in school? Where do you plan to settle? There are definitely great Audiology programs out there. (I had a student intern in the spring doing clinical practicum with me and I would not recommend her school at all- neither would she!!)</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Don't want to sound discouraging to you.</p>

<p>I have had numerous job offers by ENT's and Hearing Aid offices, just by having the professional contact with them over the years. Gone on many interviews over the years to see what is out there and at other times to seek employment. Always offered the jobs. Found my niche in the field while others have found their niche in other areas of Audiology.</p>

<p>question_quest, This is info from my personal experience as a HI parent/teacher who has been privy to the workings of audiologists in the clinical setting and school settings for many years now. It seems that you do much more practical audiological work in the clinical setting. Our school system's (large one) one audiologist is responsible for all of the equipment (ordering, maintenance, etc.) She has little to do with the actual screening or interaction with the children. That is left up to the nurses or private audiologists. It is a pretty stressful job and is not "summers free". She deals with quite a bit with equipment breakdowns and therefore unhappy parents, HI teachers. </p>

<p>Be wary of the varying nature of speech pathology today as well. Those that I work with are being stretched to the max with huge caseloads from the learning disabled classrooms, regular ed students and increasingly with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) kids. It is hard for them to service all of the kids in a week's time. Quite a bit of paperwork and therefore high rate of burnout. Because of this there are a lot of job openings, though. </p>

<p>I don't mean to sound negative; just wanted to pass on what I have seen. Do your homework and see what you think fits you best.</p>

<p>Hi all,</p>

<p>Thanks SO much for all the ultra-helpful replies and PMs!!!! I apologize for the delay in responding--last week was sorority recruitment, so I had very little downtime.</p>

<p>To answer some questions asked here and in PMs:</p>

<p>-No interest in speech path (for personal reasons, including the fact I have a speech impairment myself, which I imagine could cause some potential problems... I've talked to Aud.'s, though, and they said it likely wouldn't cause a problem in audiology, so...)</p>

<p>-The department is literally brand new (as in, just started offering classes this semester!), so I have no clue if it's ASHA accredited or not, but I'm guessing not. Actually, it doesn't even have a webpage yet! I've tried emailing the professsor last semester and never heard back--maybe I'll try again...</p>

<p>Some additional questions:
-Part-time jobs: Doesn't this create a problem with benefits/health insurance (big issue for me as I'm "uninsurable")? Is it significantly harder to find a full time job?</p>

<p>-How plentiful is employment at ENT practices vs. other locations? Do any locations have a huge advantage in salarly? </p>

<p>-Audiologists: All things equal, would you chose this career again?</p>

<p>Again, thank you so incredibly much for all the responses/PM's--they've been hugely helpful!</p>

<p>In the private or not--for -profit sector, at least in my experience, you will get benefits if you work 1/2 time or greater.</p>

<p>ENT's seem to call me (as we refer back and forth) when they are looking for help. Jobs come and go. There are ENT jobs and jobs at hearing aid dealers. I think those working in hospitals/clinics seem to hold on to jobs due to job security, benefits, etc..</p>

<p>You have to be somewhat flexible and hold a job until others come along. There are opportunities and openings, but the ability to work further form home and interview for some jobs decreases as you start a family. </p>

<p>If you are willing to relocate for your first job, at least, then it will likely be easier for you as you will have more opportunities to interview for jobs. </p>

<p>Is your school starting an AuD program? If so, then by the time you graduate it will likely have had accreditation for some time. If they are just starting an undergrad program, I don't know the time frame for you. </p>

<p>I would recommend going to an AuD program that has had a great masters program. You want lots of clinic hours in great places (assigned and not ones you have to find on your own). Also, check out hte size of the program. (I was accepted to UVa and flew down ot get housing. I stopped by the Audiology building to introduce myself and was told they accepted 4 of us. FOUR???? I bailed. No way was I going to school with 3 other kids. I ended up at Michigan State Univ with 12 of us. Can't say enough great things about their program. Great staff and great facilities. Check it out and also, Wisconsin and UConn. </p>

<p>The career has worked for me. As a woman, I've certainly bypassed some great jobs so I could work part time with flexible hours depending on my kids schedules. </p>

<p>I guess there are pros and cons to many fields. PA is great (and more medical) but you have to work for others and I do not know about salary. Certainly more job opportunities. OT/PT- you can consult on your own or work many more places. </p>

<p>Do some investigating and observing in your area (at school or home) to try to make an informed decision for yourself. You have to be happy with your career. </p>

<p>Again, where are you or at least what part of the country. What year in school?</p>

<p>Lastly, would I do it again? No. For all the incredible hard work I put in to school, I'd go to law school or be a PA... but that's me.</p>

<p>Thanks so much for the response. I'm in the Northwest (MT) but from the Mountain West... Would like to stay in the West (Mountain or North, including AK). My school only has an undergraduate communications disorders program, no masters, AuD., or PhD, and it's just starting this year. I'm a junior.</p>

<p>I wonder if there is a wide enough range of client issues in this field, as opposed to, say, clinical psychology or clinical social work, to suit you.</p>

<p>The area you are considering may be to your advantage, not only in Audiology but also other health fields as they are likely not as saturated (as we are on the east coast).</p>

<p>As I have worked in multi-facited offices with lots of medical professionals, I believe SWers are underpaid. My psych friends do well, and also have private practices. Plan now if you will need a teaching certificate to work in the schools should you have that opportunity or desire. </p>

<p>Audiology is interesting and varied depending on the type of office you work in. There's even operating room monitoring if you are interested. Just be sure to pick a great grad school that has had a great reputation. </p>

<p>Again, feel free to PM me anytime.</p>