Audiology Salary

Audiology is a growing field that appeals to recent graduates of medical professional programs. Audiologists typically work as researchers for hospitals and clinics or as contracted specialists for large businesses and manufacturing companies. They seek out new approaches to identifying hearing problems and they develop new techniques for treating and resolving these problems. They may use problem-specific solutions such as hearing aids or amplification systems. At the professional level, they typically work with little or no supervision.

Audiologists receive handsome salary packages. They may work in private practice or as contracted specialists. They typically have a background in speech and language pathology. They must be certified and licensed in their field. As part of their overall professional development, they must enroll in continuing education coursework. As the baby boomers retire and the need for hearing specialists increase, audiologists can expect to earn as high as $98,000 working as a contracted specialist for the private sector.

*According to the BLS,

Salary Overview

The specific salary for audiologists is determined by a number of factors. Audiologists must have a Doctor of Audiology degree (Au.D.). They must also have completed coursework in pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. They must have graduated from an accredited program in audiology. Audiologists who are licensed and who have more experience working for the private sector earn more than their counterparts who work for the federal government.

Other factors come in to play. Entry-level salaries and salary caps are based upon experience and the industry in which the audiologist works. Audiologists who work in private practice earn slightly more than those who work in the private sector; but those who work for the private industry earn higher than those who work for hospitals and clinics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for audiologists is $62,020. Contracted audiologists earn more than private practice audiologists. The lowest ten percent who are recent graduates entering the field earn a minimum salary of $40,360, with the highest ten percent earning $98,880. Audiologists are also typically union members.*

*According to the BLS,

Job Descriptions

Certification and professional organizations require audiologists to be licensed. They must have a working and continuing knowledge of audiology methods and procedures. In general, audiologists provide solutions to clients who struggle with hearing and balancing sounds. They test and diagnose hearing and sound problems of their clients. They evaluate hearing problems by analyzing the difference between one sound a client hears and another sound the client doesn’t hear. They record and summarize their data and submit reports to health professionals for treatment options.

Audiologists also provide research and submit plans for legal compensation to contract organizations for problems that closely relate to hearing loss. They study the effects of business noise and provide solutions for reduction procedures. They work closely with the speech and language pathologists and recommend surgery options, fit hearing devices, and prescribe other types of hearing aids. Audiologists typically work a standard work week. In private practice, they are subject to work at night and on the weekends. As contracted specialists, they may be required to travel to other clinics and affiliate organizations.

The career outlook for recent graduates is very positive. The demand for audiologists is increasing as baby boomers begin to age and need hearing equipment. In addition, most statutes require that babies be tested for their hearing right after birth. This proves advantageous for audiologists who work as specialists for hospitals.*

*According to the BLS,

Training and Education Requirements

Recent graduates entering the field must have a bachelor’s degree in general education coursework. They must also complete supplementary studies in biology, physiology, communication, and psychology. Other undergraduate courses include mathematics, chemistry, and English. In addition, audiologists must have complete advanced coursework in an accredited program in audiology studies. Graduate studies may include enrollment in anatomy and audiology.

Audiologists must also have some experience working in the field. This is easily attained by recent graduates working as an entry-level speech pathologist, communicating with clients on a daily basis about hearing difficulties and their connection to speech and language. Recent graduates who are familiar with American Sign Language (ASL) have a greater chance of securing employment as entry-level speech pathologists.

In all cases, to be an audiologist requires a high degree of patience.


Audiologists are required to be certified in their field. They must be licensed professionals. Each state requires audiologists to have a master’s degree in the field. As the field gains even greater acceptance, a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) will become the state requirement.

To become certified, audiologists must take the Praxis Series. It is an examination offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Audiologists must pass the exam and perform at minimum 300 hours of clinical work. Once they receive a passing score, audiologists receive a license which must be renewed every four years. Each state has different requirements. Most licensing programs require audiologists to enroll in continuing education coursework as a condition of renewal. In addition, some states require a different license for audiologists to prescribe hearing devices. Most health providers and insurance companies require audiologists to have a license before they will pay out claims.

Audiologists may pursue two certifications. They may complete a certification program through the American Board of Audiology (ABA) and/or through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The ABA requires audiologists to have a doctorate, to sit for a national examination, and to serve 2,000 hours of close mentorship with a supervising audiologist. The ABA license is renewable every three years after audiologists complete approximately 45 hours of continuing education coursework. The ASHA offers a certification program called the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A). The certificate requires audiologists to have a graduate degree, preferably a doctorate. Audiologists must also have supervised practical experience, postgraduate studies research and coursework, and a passing score on the Praxis examination. The examination must be in audiology. Most states allow the certifications as a substitute for other licensing conditions.

Professional Associations

Audiologists may join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA represents approximately 14,000 professionals in the fields of speech and language pathology. They are an advocacy and membership organization. They monitor standards that concern the field of audiology and speech-language pathology.

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