Potential Careers

Audiologists are professionals educated in the study of normal hearing processes and hearing loss. The audiologist determines if a person has a hearing loss, what type of loss it is, and how the person can make the best use of remaining hearing. If a person can benefit from using hearing aids or other assistive listening systems, the audiologist can assist with the selection, fitting, and purchase of the most appropriate aids and with training in their effective use. Audiologists work closely with other professionals, in particular speech-language pathologists and medical specialists (e.g., otolaryngologists).

Speech-language pathologists are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and the very wide range of communication disorders. By evaluating the speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing skills of children and adults, the speech-language pathologist determines what communication or swallowing problems exist and the best way to treat them and designs and implements intervention programs, working closely with the children and/or adults and the important people in their lives. Speech-language pathologists work closely with other professionals, including audiologists, psychologists, medical specialists (e.g., neurologists, pediatricians, craniofacial surgeons, gerontologists), social workers, and teachers.

One of the truly exciting aspects of these professions is the variety of work settings available to the practitioner. More and more audiologists and speech-language pathologists are establishing their own practices or designing their own workplace. Some examples of potential work settings are:

Both speech-language pathologists and audiologists are in short supply in clinical settings but especially so in university positions, so employment prospects are excellent.

For additional information on the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.