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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Jm90Zen20.
Quick Facts: Audiologists
2021 Median Pay $78,950 per year
$37.96 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Doctoral or professional degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2021 14,600
Job Outlook, 2021-31 10% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2021-31 1,500

What Audiologists Do

Audiologists diagnose, manage, and treat patients who have hearing, balance, or related problems.

Work Environment

Most audiologists work in healthcare facilities, such as physicians’ offices, audiology clinics, and hospitals. Some work in schools or for school districts and travel between facilities.

How to Become an Audiologist

Audiologists typically need a doctor of audiology degree (Au.D.) to enter the occupation. All states require audiologists to be licensed.

Pay

The median annual wage for audiologists was $78,950 in May 2021.

Job Outlook

Employment of audiologists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 800 openings for audiologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for audiologists.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of audiologists with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about audiologists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Audiologists Do About this section

Audiologists
Audiologists diagnose, manage, and treat patients who have hearing, balance, or related problems.

Audiologists diagnose, manage, and treat patients who have hearing, balance, or related problems.

Duties

Audiologists typically do the following:

  • Examine patients who have conditions related to the outer, middle, or inner ear
  • Assess the results of the examination and diagnose problems
  • Create treatment plans to meet patients’ goals
  • Provide care for routine procedures, such as testing
  • Fit and dispense hearing aids and other assistive listening devices
  • Counsel patients and their families on ways to listen and communicate, such as by lip reading or through technology
  • Evaluate patients regularly to monitor their condition and modify treatment plans, as needed
  • Record patient progress
  • Research the causes and treatment of hearing and balance disorders
  • Educate patients on ways to prevent hearing loss

Audiologists diagnose conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). They use a variety of devices to identify the extent and underlying cause of hearing loss. For example, with audiometers they measure the volume and frequency at which a person hears.

Treatment depends on the type and severity of a patient’s hearing loss and may range from cleaning wax out of ear canals to fitting and checking hearing aids. (Audiologists’ ability to diagnose as well as treat patients distinguishes their work from that of hearing aid specialists.) Audiologists work with physicians and surgeons treating patients whose hearing may be improved with cochlear implants, small devices that are surgically embedded near the ear to deliver electrical impulses to the auditory nerve.

Audiologists also counsel patients and their families on adapting to hearing loss, such as through use of technology, and may refer them to resources and other support.

In addition to their work related to hearing conditions, audiologists help patients who have vertigo or other balance problems. For example, they may demonstrate exercises involving head movement or positioning to relieve some symptoms.

Some audiologists work with specific age groups, such as older adults or children. Other audiologists may fit patients for products that help protect their hearing on the job.

Work Environment About this section

Audiologists
Audiologists identify symptoms of hearing loss and other auditory, balance, and related sensory and neural disorders.

Audiologists held about 14,600 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of audiologists were as follows:

Offices of physicians 28%
Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists 22
Hospitals; state, local, and private 13
Educational services; state, local, and private 10

Some audiologists, such as those contracted by a school system, travel between multiple facilities. Audiologists may work closely with other healthcare specialists, including audiology assistants (a type of medical assistant), physicians and surgeonsregistered nurses, and speech-language pathologists.

Work Schedules

Most audiologists work full time. Some work weekends and evenings to meet patients' needs.

How to Become an Audiologist About this section

Audiologists
Audiologists must be licensed in all states.

Audiologists typically need a doctor of audiology (Au.D.) degree to enter the occupation. All states require audiologists to be licensed.

Education

Audiologists need a doctor of audiology (Au.D.) degree, which typically takes 4 years to complete. To enter an Au.D. program, students need a bachelor’s degree.

Au.D. coursework includes anatomy and physiology, diagnosis and treatment, and statistics. Students also complete supervised clinical practice.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Audiologists must be licensed in all states. Requirements vary by state but typically include having earned an Au.D. from an accredited program. For specific requirements, contact your state’s licensing board for audiologists.

Audiologists may earn other credentials, such as certificates or certifications offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Board of Audiology. These credentials usually require completion of an accredited doctor of audiology program and passing an exam. Some employers may require or prefer that candidates have certification or a certificate, and in some states having the credential can help to meet licensure requirements.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Audiologists need to convey information, including test results and proposed treatments, so that patients understand their diagnosis and options.

Compassion. Audiologists should be empathetic and supportive of their patients, who may be frustrated because of their hearing or balance problems.

Critical-thinking skills. In order to propose the best treatment options, audiologists must concentrate when testing a patient’s hearing and in analyzing the results.

Interpersonal skills. Audiologists often collaborate with other healthcare providers regarding patient care.

Patience. Audiologists work with patients who may have communication difficulties and need extra time or attention.

Problem-solving skills. Audiologists must figure out the causes of hearing or balance problems and determine appropriate treatment options. They also must be able to propose alternatives if patients do not respond to initial treatment.

Pay About this section

Audiologists

Median annual wages, May 2021

Healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners

$81,270

Audiologists

$78,950

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for audiologists was $78,950 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,920, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,210.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for audiologists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private $94,690
Educational services; state, local, and private 79,170
Offices of physicians 78,070
Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists 78,070

Most audiologists work full time. Some may work weekends and evenings to meet patients’ needs. Those who work on a contract basis may spend time traveling between facilities.

Job Outlook About this section

Audiologists

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Audiologists

10%

Healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners

9%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of audiologists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 800 openings for audiologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Because health problems are prevalent in older age groups, an aging baby-boom population will continue to increase the demand for most healthcare services. This includes hearing loss and balance disorders, with larger numbers of older people creating increased demand for audiologists.

The early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants also may support employment growth. Growing awareness regarding advances in hearing aid technology, such as smaller size and reduced feedback, may make such devices more appealing as a means to treat auditory loss. This may lead to more demand for audiologists.

Employment projections data for audiologists, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Audiologists

29-1181 14,600 16,100 10 1,500 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of audiologists.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2021 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
nurse anesthetists nurse midwives and nurse practitioners image Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare.

Master's degree $123,780
Optometrists Optometrists

Optometrists diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes.

Doctoral or professional degree $124,300
Physical therapists Physical Therapists

Physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain.

Doctoral or professional degree $95,620
Physicians and surgeons Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses and address health maintenance.

Doctoral or professional degree This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year.
Psychologists Psychologists

Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments.

See How to Become One $81,040
Speech-language pathologists Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

Master's degree $79,060

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information on state-specific licensing requirements, contact the state’s licensing board.

For more information about audiologists, including requirements for certification and state licensure, visit

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

American Academy of Audiology

For more information about accredited audiology programs, visit

Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE)

Council on Academic Accreditation

O*NET

Audiologists

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Audiologists,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm (visited September 08, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2021

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2021, which is the base year of the 2021-31 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2021-31

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031. The average growth rate for all occupations is 5 percent.

Employment Change, 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2021-31

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2021 to 2031.

2021 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.