An Audiologist is a highly educated and certified medical practitioner. An Audiologist must have a Masters degree or a Doctor of Audiology degree. They are required to complete an internship, pass the Certificate of Clinical Competence, a difficult national board exam from the American Speech Hearing Language Association, state licensure and mandatory continuing education hours. Only an Audiologist is qualified to diagnose, treat, habilitate and rehabilitate someone who has a hearing loss.
Don’t be confused by others calling themselves an “Audioprosthologist” as this a title that hearing aid dispensers, sellers, and specialists have given themselves. This has led to much confusion for consumers. It needs to be made clear that to become a seller of hearing aids one must only obtain a high school diploma or GED. They are required to take correspondence classes on hearing loss and hearing aid fitting by the International Hearing Society. They are then required to pass a state exam and also obtain continuing education hours. However, they have a limited scope of practice whereas the AUDIOLOGIST is uniquely qualified and trained to identify a wide variety of pathology and medical conditions of the hearing and balance systems and refer these cases for appropriate medical and surgical treatment.
Audiologists are usually licensed as seller of hearing aids, but not every seller of hearing aids is an Audiologist. As well, not every white coated professional is an Audiologist or Doctor so check your hearing professionals accreditations and look for a M.A., M.S. or AuD after their names to be assured you are seeking professional hearing health care from an Audiologist.