Audiologist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

An Audiologist, or Hearing Doctor, is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of balance disorders, hearing loss and related issues in children and adults. Their duties include completing hearing exams, fitting, adjusting and maintaining patients’ hearing aids and providing treatment for balance disorders.

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Audiologist duties and responsibilities

Audiologists’ duties and responsibilities include both physical and psychological components of medicine. In addition to diagnosing and treating patients with a variety of ear and hearing issues, Audiologists will often have to psychologically assess the effect of hearing damage on a patient before starting treatment. Different types of Audiologist responsibilities usually include the following:

  • Examine patients with ear, hearing or balance and other related problems.
  • Assess exam results and diagnose the patient.
  • Determine the best course of treatment, taking the patient’s needs and concerns into consideration.
  • Fit and dispense hearing aids.
  • Provide counseling for the patient and close family members on how to best listen and communicate using methods such as lip reading or technology.
  • Evaluate and follow up on the patient’s condition and record any developments.
  • Educate patients on ways to prevent hearing loss.
  • Research causes and potential treatments for hearing and balance disorders.
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Audiologist Job Description Examples

What does an Audiologist do?

Audiologists are health care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage balance disorders and other hearing-related issues. They perform a variety of treatment protocols to address hearing loss and balance disorders, including inserting cochlear implants, prescribing and fitting hearing aids and other hearing assistance technologies and performing hearing-related procedures. Audiologists work in a number of different settings including in hospitals, ENT offices, Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and clinics.

Audiologist skills and qualifications

Since Audiologists deal with sensitive medical matters and spend a lot of time closely consulting with patients, empathy and communication are desired skills for any potential Audiologist. An Audiologist’s skills and qualifications may include:

  • Ability to communicate with patients about sensitive topics
  • Ability to work with other medical professionals as needed to diagnose and treat patients
  • Compassion
  • Patience 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to apply medical knowledge to patient cases to treat and diagnose each case

Audiologist salary expectations

The average Audiologist salary is $78,878 per year. Audiologists can expect salaries to vary based on their experience level, the kind of institution they work for and where they are located. Common benefits for this position include relocation assistance, health insurance and paid time off.

Audiologist education and training requirements

Being hired as an Audiologist requires a doctoral degree in audiology, which is typically a four-year post-graduate program. Coursework for the degree includes anatomy, physiology, diagnosis and treatment, genetics and clinical practice. Upon graduating from an Au.D. program, Audiologists must also obtain a license through an accredited organization to practice.

Audiologist experience requirements

Experience as an Audiologist in a physician’s office, hospital or educational system is valuable. An employer will appreciate evidence of good feedback from both previous patients and previous employers. Depending on the type of work and work environment they are being recruited for, some Audiologists might need to show additional certification, which varies by area.

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Frequently asked questions about Audiologists

 

What are the daily duties of an Audiologist?

Audiologists perform several duties on a day-to-day basis in their workplace. A typical day for an Audiologist often includes maintaining patient records; meeting with patients to administer hearing tests and performing hearing-related examinations; assessing balance and hearing disorders to determine the best course of treatment; fitting, dispensing and repairing hearing assistance devices like hearing aids; programming and monitoring cochlear implants based on the patient’s needs and monitoring a patient’s progress with treatment and making adjustments when needed. Audiologists also perform administrative tasks like overseeing office functions and completing paperwork.

 

What are the most important qualities to look for in an Audiologist?

Good Audiologists are dedicated to the wellbeing of their patients and each patient’s overall improvement with a balance or hearing disorder. Common qualities of a good Audiologist include:

  • Excellent bedside manner to effectively counsel patients and family members on treatment plans and to foster a positive doctor-patient relationship
  • Good communication abilities to explain complex treatments and conditions to patients in a language they understand
  • Strong time management skills that allow the Audiologist to successfully manage their schedule and see patients in a timely manner
  • A commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest audiology-related research to provide patients with the best solutions available
  • Compassion to more effectively relate to patients and understand the impact that the patient’s condition is having on their life

 

What is the difference between an Audiologist and an Otolaryngologist?

Audiologists and Otolaryngologists both work in the hearing health care profession, but there are several differences between these two types of professionals. Audiologists are medical professionals who are required to complete a doctoral degree in audiology (Au.D.) and supervised clinical practice. Otolaryngologists are medical doctors (M.D.s) who have specialized training in diagnosing and treating diseases related to the nose, ears, throat and mouth. This type of doctor is trained in both surgery and medicine.

Audiologists are concerned primarily with a person’s ability to hear, and are often referred to as “hearing doctors.” Because they are not medical doctors, they cannot perform surgery. Otolaryngologists, on the other hand, are often called “ear doctors” and treat significant hearing loss through surgical and/or pharmaceutical treatment. Otolaryngologists typically refer patients to Audiologists for prescription hearing technology and counseling once a medical course of treatment is completed.

 

Where do Audiologists typically work?

Audiologists work in a variety of health care settings, including audiology clinics, hospitals and physician’s offices. Some Audiologists work in schools like K-12 schools or universities. Audiologists may be required to travel to and from patients’ homes for treatment.

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