How to Become a Hearing Aid Specialist: Training & Salary
A hearing aid specialist improves people's hearing and so can be a rewarding career. Learn about the training requirements and salary, to see if a career as a hearing aid specialist could be the perfect fit for you.
Career at a Glance
Hearing aid specialists are known by many other titles such as hearing care practitioners, hearing instrument specialists, audioprosthologists and hearing instrument dispensers. They help people with auditory issues receive adequate care, treatment and information. The table below gives a brief overview of the requirements and key details of a career as a hearing aid specialist.
|Education Required||High school diploma minimum|
|Training Required||On-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Critical thinking, people skills, teaching skills|
|Licensure and Certification||State license typically required; board certification is voluntary|
|Median Salary (2018)||$52,770*|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||16%*|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
What Do Hearing Aid Specialists Do?
Hearing aid specialists are healthcare providers who may work closely with audiologists, which are doctors specialized in hearing, to diagnose hearing disorders and problems. Hearing aid specialists carry out screening processes such as pure tone screen and immittance screenings , as well as basic hearing tests such as air conduction, speech audiometry and bone conduction. They analyze and interpret test results. They take impressions for earmolds and hearing aid shells to determine the size a patient needs, and fit and adjust hearing aids. A hearing aid specialist will help to address patients' concerns regarding hearing and educate patients on how to use a hearing aid.
How Do You Become a Hearing Instrument Specialist?
A career as a hearing aid specialist requires at least a high school diploma, although some employers might prefer individuals with a certificate or an associate's degree. On-the-job training for prospective hearing aid specialists is common. States typically require hearing aid specialists to be licensed, and licensure requires education and/or training in the field. For example, you might need to complete a hearing aid specialist training program and set number of practical training hours. Formal education and on-the-job training are where you will learn how to take medical histories, work with patients and learn the different types of hearing aids and what they are used for.
What Skills Do Hearing Aid Specialists Need?
A hearing aid specialist will need to have an investigative mind, in order to search for problems and find solutions, whether it is fixing and adjusting hearing aids or analyzing test results. Working as a hearing aid specialist will require extensive thinking as part of one's day-to-day job duties. You will need to have good interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with different people. A hearing aid specialist must want to help people and have a service orientation. Additionally, hearing aid specialists must be able to instruct patients on the use and care of their hearing aids.
How Much Does a Hearing Aid Specialist Earn?
According to the BLS, in 2018 the average hearing aid specialist could expect to earn $25.37 an hour, and a median annual salary of $52,770. The top 10% of earners operating as hearing aid specialists made over $88,590 annually, and the lowest 10% earned less than $28,410. Hearing aid specialist working in health and personal care stores generally earned the most, followed by those working in outpatient care centers.
What's the Job Outlook for a Hearing Aid Specialist?
The BLS reported that the number of jobs would increase by 16% between 2018 and 2028. This is much higher than the 7% national average job growth for all occupations during the same period. The BLS stated that there were approximately 7,700 jobs in 2018, with an additional 1,200 jobs expected by 2028.