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Audiologist

Audiologists work with children and adults who suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, or have problems with balance.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £41,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to:

If you’re already a science graduate, you could join the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) and take a 3 year course in clinical science, specialising in neurosensory sciences.

To work as an audiologist in the private sector, you’ll need to:

You’ll also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and Health Careers have more information about becoming an audiologist.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent problem solving skills
  • the ability to analyse and deal with complex situations
  • excellent communication skills
  • a caring and supportive approach
  • counselling skills
  • the ability to motivate patients
  • practical skills to handle small devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • deciding on the best way to test a patient’s hearing
  • adapting tests to suit the age and ability of the patient
  • checking hearing, including sound level and frequency range
  • investigating any related medical, physical and emotional symptoms

Once you’ve made a diagnosis, you’ll put together a rehabilitation plan, which could involve:

  • assessing patients who are suitable for cochlear implants or bone anchored hearing aids
  • producing an impression of the ear for an ear mould
  • fitting hearing aids and making changes to ear moulds
  • reviewing progress and making changes to the fitting
  • teaching patients how to use the prescribed hearing aid
  • repairing faulty hearing aids
  • increasing hearing ability by using lip-reading, or other communication skills
  • giving patients information and advice on how to manage their condition
  • managing patients with dual sensory loss (hearing and sight) or learning disabilities
Audiologists may also be involved in counselling clients and their families to help them adjust to hearing loss and balance disorders. Sometimes this is also done by hearing therapists.

Audiological scientists have extra responsibilities for research and development, and managing audiology services.

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £28,500

Experienced: £26,250 to £35,250

Highly Experienced: £41,500

Salaries in the private sector may be higher than in the NHS.

Figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week.

You’ll most likely work in ear, nose and throat clinics, or audiology departments in hospitals.

You’ll usually be based in a consultation room at an NHS or private hospital.

6. Career path and progression

You could go on to specialise in areas like balance rehabilitation, cochlear implants, or assisting people with learning disabilities or dual sensory loss.

With experience, you could lead a team, manage a unit, or move into a general management position in mainstream healthcare.

You could also take on a research or teaching post at a university. 

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Last updated: 14 December 2016