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Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement for Audiologist

Of the 48 States that require a license to practice audiology, almost all require that individuals have a master’s degree in audiology or the equivalent; however, a clinical doctoral degree is expected to become the new standard. A passing score on a national examination on audiology offered through the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service is needed, as well. Other requirements are 300 to 375 hours of supervised clinical experience and 9 months of postgraduate professional clinical experience. An additional examination may be required in order to dispense hearing aids. Forty States have continuing education requirements for licensure renewal. Medicaid, medicare, and private health insurers generally require practitioners to be licensed to qualify for reimbursement.

About 107 colleges and universities offer graduate programs in audiology in the United States. About 39 of these offer a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree. Requirements for admission to programs in audiology include courses in English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and communication sciences. Graduate course work in audiology includes anatomy; physiology; physics; genetics; normal and abnormal communication development; auditory, balance, and neural systems assessment and treatment; diagnosis and treatment; pharmacology; and ethics.

Audiologists can acquire the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To earn a CCC, a person must have a graduate degree and 375 hours of supervised clinical experience, complete a 36-week postgraduate clinical fellowship, and pass the Praxis Series examination in audiology, administered by the Educational Testing Service. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as of 2007, audiologists will need to have a bachelor’s degree and complete 75 hours of credit toward a doctoral degree in order to seek certification. As of 2012, audiologists will have to earn a doctoral degree in order to be certified.

Audiologists may also be certified through the American Board of Audiology. Applicants must earn a Master’s or Doctoral degree in audiology from a regionally accredited college or university, achieve a passing score on a national examination in audiology, and demonstrate that they have completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of mentored professional practice in a two-year period with a qualified audiologist. Certificants must apply for renewal every three years. They must demonstrate that they have earned 45 hours of approved continuing education within the three-year period. Beginning in the year 2007, all applicants must earn a doctoral degree in audiology.

Audiologists should be able to effectively communicate diagnostic test results, diagnoses, and proposed treatments in a manner easily understood by their clients. They must be able to approach problems objectively and provide support to clients and their families. Because a client’s progress may be slow, patience, compassion, and good listening skills are necessary.

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