By Shari S. Beams, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Posted May 6th, 2021
Another reason I love Audiology is the diversity of populations and work settings to choose from. While the foundation of Audiology remains the same, one of the most interesting things about is its variability. Once you have completed your education, you have a variety of work settings to choose from. Whether it is the age of the population you work with or the work setting, you have choices.
Some Audiologists prefer to work with the pediatric population. They can do this at a children’s hospital. Identifying hearing loss in young children that can’t respond to a hearing test in a traditional way is challenging. Audiologists can also coordinate or perform newborn hearing screenings to identify those babies that are born with hearing loss and ensuring they are followed up with. The goal to is to fit hearing aids on children born with hearing loss before they are 6 months old. Another option for Audiologists that wish to work with children is to work as an Educational Audiologist. An Educational Audiologist works with the school district, sometimes as part of a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program, maybe even a school that specializes in deaf and hard-of-hearing students. These Audiologists are responsible for testing hearing, ensuring that the children’s hearing aids are functioning properly, and managing the use of Assistive Listening Devices as necessary.
If pediatrics is not your cup of tea, or you didn’t want to work exclusively with pediatrics, then there are several other choices. The majority of Audiologists work in medical settings. This can include ENT/Medical offices, or Hospitals. In an ENT office/Medical office, the Audiologist can have a variety of responsibilities. Testing hearing, performing electrophysiological tests of hearing, performing balance testing, and of course the fitting and dispensing hearing aids.
Industrial Audiology is another specialty. Industrial Audiologists help to keep our workforce safe from excessive noise. They measure noise levels in work environments, perform annual testing, and suggest or provide hearing protection. This is very important. The Audiologist will perform the annual test and compare to a baseline to see if a significant loss of hearing has occurred and needs further evaluation. They make sure the facility follow guidelines set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with regards to the mandatory use of hearing protection. Some of these Audiologists may also be working with or even serve in the U.S. military to ensure the hearing safety of our military forces. The Veterans Administration also employs Audiologists. These individuals assess hearing, determine disability, and fit and dispense hearing aids for our Veterans.
Finally, many Audiologists work in private practice. This can be a single standalone clinic, or even a chain of privately run clinics. These Audiologists focus primarily on the fitting and dispensing of hearing aids. They may also provide some aural rehabilitation services such as lipreading training.
As you can see, there are many paths an Audiologist can take to find their ideal job. Just another reason I love being an Audiologist. If you or a loved one are having trouble with hearing, call our office and schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
Please call our office at 361-287-0100 to schedule an appointment.