CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become an audiologist.

Step 1

Is becoming an audiologist right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do audiologists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are audiologists happy with their careers?
What are audiologists like?

Still unsure if becoming an audiologist is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an audiologist or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

High School

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an audiologist, it is important to take high school courses that provide a strong foundation in the sciences and communication-related subjects. Here are some recommended courses that can help prepare you for a future in audiology:

  • Biology: Taking biology courses will provide you with a fundamental understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and the biological processes that are relevant to audiology. This knowledge will be essential in understanding the structure and function of the auditory system.
  • Physics: Physics courses can be beneficial as they cover topics related to sound, acoustics, and the properties of waves. Understanding the principles of physics will give you a solid foundation in concepts like sound propagation, resonance, and vibration, which are fundamental to audiology.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry courses can provide you with a basic understanding of chemical processes and their relevance to the human body. This knowledge can be useful in understanding topics such as the effects of medications and the chemical composition of hearing aids.
  • Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are essential in audiology for analyzing data, interpreting test results, and understanding statistical concepts. Courses in algebra, geometry, and statistics can help develop your mathematical proficiency.
  • Communication Sciences: Courses in communication sciences, speech, or language can be beneficial for understanding the communication processes and disorders related to hearing loss. These courses will provide insight into speech production, language development, and the impact of hearing impairment on communication.
  • Psychology: Psychology courses can provide valuable knowledge about human behavior, cognition, and perception. Understanding psychological principles will assist in comprehending the emotional and psychological aspects associated with hearing loss and rehabilitation.
Step 3

Formal Education Steps

In the United States, the formal education steps to become an audiologist typically involve the following:

  • Bachelor's Degree: The first step is to complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. While there is no specific major required, it is common for aspiring audiologists to pursue a degree in communicative disorders, audiology, biology, physics, or psychology. It is important to ensure that the chosen program includes prerequisite coursework that aligns with the requirements of graduate-level audiology programs.
  • Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) Program: After obtaining a bachelor's degree, aspiring audiologists must complete a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program, which is typically a four-year professional doctoral program. The Au.D. program provides in-depth coursework and clinical training necessary for the practice of audiology. Students learn about various aspects of audiology, including audiological assessment, diagnostic techniques, hearing disorders, amplification technology, balance disorders, pediatric audiology, rehabilitation, and counseling. The program includes a combination of classroom instruction, laboratory work, and supervised clinical experiences.
  • Clinical Externship: As part of the Au.D. program, students are required to complete a clinical externship. This externship is typically a full-time, immersive clinical training experience that lasts for a specified duration, typically 12 to 16 months. During this period, students work under the supervision of licensed and experienced audiologists in various clinical settings, gaining hands-on experience in conducting assessments, fitting and programming hearing aids, diagnosing hearing disorders, and providing patient care.
  • Praxis Examination: After completing the Au.D. program, graduates are required to pass the Praxis examination in Audiology. The Praxis exam is a comprehensive national examination that assesses the knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level practice as an audiologist. Successful completion of the Praxis exam is a common requirement for licensure in many states.
  • State Licensure: Audiologists must obtain a state license to practice in the United States. Licensure requirements vary by state but generally involve submitting an application, providing proof of education and clinical training, and passing the Praxis examination. Some states may also require a jurisprudence examination to assess knowledge of state laws and regulations related to audiology practice.
  • Continuing Education: Audiologists are required to engage in continuing education to maintain their licensure and stay current with advancements in the field. Continuing education requirements vary by state but typically involve completing a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) or credits within a specific time frame. Audiologists can earn CEUs by attending conferences, workshops, seminars, online courses, or engaging in research and publication.

It is important to note that specific requirements may vary by state, so aspiring audiologists should research and consult the licensing board in the state where they plan to practice for the most up-to-date information regarding licensure and certification requirements.

Step 4


Audiologists have the opportunity to specialize in various areas within the field of audiology. These specializations allow audiologists to develop expertise in specific domains and provide specialized services to patients. Here are some common specializations in audiology along with the additional education or training required for each:

  • Pediatric Audiology: Pediatric audiologists specialize in working with infants, children, and adolescents. They have expertise in assessing and managing hearing and balance disorders specific to the pediatric population. To specialize in pediatric audiology, audiologists can pursue additional coursework or training in pediatric audiology during their doctoral program. They may also seek certifications such as the Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification (PASC) offered by the American Board of Audiology (ABA).
  • Cochlear Implants: Audiologists specializing in cochlear implants work with individuals who have severe to profound hearing loss and may benefit from cochlear implantation. Additional training in cochlear implants typically involves participation in specialized workshops, mentorship programs, and hands-on experience in cochlear implant clinics. Audiologists may also seek certification as a Cochlear Implant Audiologist (CIA) through organizations like the American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACIA).
  • Vestibular and Balance Disorders: Audiologists specializing in vestibular and balance disorders focus on diagnosing and managing conditions related to the inner ear and balance system. To develop expertise in this area, audiologists can pursue additional training through workshops, seminars, and specialized courses on vestibular assessment techniques, vestibular rehabilitation, and advanced diagnostic procedures.
  • Tinnitus Management: Audiologists specializing in tinnitus management provide evaluation and treatment for individuals experiencing tinnitus, which is the perception of sound in the absence of an external source. Additional education and training in tinnitus management may include coursework on tinnitus assessment techniques, counseling approaches, and sound therapy options. Audiologists may also pursue certifications such as the Tinnitus Management Specialty Certification (TMSC) offered by the ABA.
  • Auditory Processing Disorders (APD): Audiologists specializing in APD evaluate and treat individuals with difficulties in processing auditory information. Additional training in APD involves advanced coursework in the assessment and management of auditory processing disorders. Audiologists may also seek certification in auditory processing assessment and management through organizations like the ABA.
  • Academic and Research Roles: Some audiologists choose to pursue careers in academia or research. These roles often require additional education beyond the Au.D. degree, such as pursuing a Ph.D. in audiology or a related field. This advanced education provides training in research methodologies, data analysis, and teaching techniques, enabling audiologists to contribute to the academic and research aspects of the field.
Step 5


Audiologists have the opportunity to pursue certifications to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to professional development. These certifications provide recognition of specialized knowledge and skills in specific areas of audiology. Here are some notable certifications available for audiologists:

  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A): The CCC-A is a widely recognized certification offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). It signifies that an audiologist has met rigorous academic and clinical standards in audiology. The CCC-A is a requirement for licensure in many states in the United States.
  • Board Certification in Audiology: The Board Certification in Audiology is offered by the American Board of Audiology (ABA). This certification validates an audiologist's advanced knowledge and skills across the breadth of audiology practice. It involves meeting specific educational requirements, completing clinical hours, and passing a comprehensive examination.

American Board of Audiology (ABA) Specialty Certifications
The ABA offers various specialty certifications for audiologists who want to demonstrate their expertise in specific areas. Some of the certifications include:

  • Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification (PASC): This certification recognizes audiologists with advanced knowledge and skills in pediatric audiology.
  • Cochlear Implant Specialty Certification (CISC): The CISC is for audiologists who specialize in cochlear implants and demonstrate advanced competency in the field.
  • Tinnitus Management Specialty Certification (TMSC): The TMSC is for audiologists who specialize in evaluating and managing tinnitus.

American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Certifications
The AAA offers certifications for audiologists as well. These certifications include:

  • Academy Scholar: This certification recognizes audiologists who have demonstrated a commitment to continuing education and professional development.
  • Academy Research Scholar: The Academy Research Scholar certification acknowledges audiologists who have made significant contributions to the field of audiology through research and publications.
Step 6

Employment Opportunities

Audiologists have a range of employment opportunities across various settings. Here are some common employment opportunities for audiologists:

  • Hospitals and Medical Centers: Many audiologists work in hospitals and medical centers, providing diagnostic and rehabilitative services to patients of all ages. They collaborate with other healthcare professionals to evaluate hearing and balance disorders, conduct hearing tests, fit hearing aids and other assistive devices, and offer counseling and rehabilitation services.
  • Audiology Clinics: Audiologists can work in private audiology clinics, either as independent practitioners or as part of a group practice. In these settings, they provide comprehensive audiological evaluations, hearing aid fittings and adjustments, cochlear implant programming, tinnitus management, and other specialized services.
  • ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Practices: Audiologists often work in ENT practices alongside otolaryngologists (ENT doctors). They assist in diagnosing and managing hearing and balance disorders, conduct specialized tests, and collaborate with the medical team to develop treatment plans.
  • Educational Institutions: Audiologists can work in educational institutions, such as schools or universities, where they provide audiological assessments, hearing screenings, and support services to students with hearing impairments. They may also collaborate with teachers and educational professionals to implement accommodations and assistive technologies to facilitate communication and learning.
  • Research and Academia: Some audiologists pursue careers in research and academia. They work in universities, research institutions, or government agencies, conducting research studies to advance the field of audiology, contributing to scientific publications, and teaching audiology students.
  • Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Dispensers: Audiologists can work with hearing aid manufacturers and dispensers, providing expertise in fitting and programming hearing aids. They may offer training and support to professionals involved in hearing aid dispensing and collaborate in product development and research.
  • Government and Military: Audiologists can find employment opportunities within government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), providing audiological services to veterans. They may also work in military healthcare facilities, offering hearing healthcare to active-duty personnel.
  • Teleaudiology: With advancements in technology, teleaudiology has emerged as a growing field. Audiologists can provide audiological services remotely, conducting assessments, fitting hearing aids, and offering counseling through telecommunication platforms. This allows access to audiological care in remote areas or for individuals who have difficulty accessing traditional clinic settings.

It's worth noting that audiologists can also choose to establish their private practices and work as independent practitioners. This allows them to have greater autonomy and flexibility in delivering audiological services.