Are you interested in audiology and want to help people enhance their quality of life? If yes, a career as an audiologist might be perfect for you.
An audiologist diagnoses and manages hearing defects in humans. They play a vital role in enhancing and preserving hearing abilities, verbal communication, and the balance of patients. They also provide diagnostic evaluation and rehabilitative services concerning hearing loss.
To become an audiologist in Australia, you must complete the Bachelor of Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences, followed by the Master of Clinical Audiology and 1-year internship program. The qualification helps you develop theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical experience to become a qualified audiologist.
This article discusses the audiologist job profile, career prospects, earning potential, and the steps to pursue this profession in Australia.
1. Who Is An Audiologist?
Audiology is a medical science involving hearing and balance examination and rehabilitation.
Audiologists are health specialists who have undergone rigorous clinical and academic training. They have expertise in detecting hearing loss, balance issues and communication impairments.
Audiologists prescribe, fit, and test hearing aids to improve and maintain hearing ability in people. They also evaluate the hearing levels of workers with a high risk of hearing loss, including armed forces, pilots, etc.
2. Tasks And Duties Of An Audiologist
Audiologists work to enhance the hearing level and develop strategies to maintain the current hearing level of a patient. They employ various methods and techniques to help children and adults with hearing, tinnitus, and balance disabilities.
The most common duties of an audiologist are as follows:
Conduct interviews with clients and study their background information to identify problems with hearing and listening.
Perform specialised diagnostic audiometric tests to diagnose patients with hearing issues.
Analyse tests and identify the nature and root cause of hearing issues in patients.
Evaluate acoustic tests and response patterns to differentiate between organic and non-organic loss of hearing.
Communicate test results to patients and educate them on the hearing issue.
For further testing and consultation, provide referrals and recommendations to relevant medical practitioners like ENT doctors.
Guide them about lifestyle changes and appropriate treatments such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc.
Instruct patients on the usage of hearing aids.
Help patients to live with hearing problems when there is no treatment available.
Assess and manage tinnitus.
Examine and restore balance disorders.
Prepare rehabilitation programs for patients with hearing deficiencies.
Work with speech pathologists to treat patients with communication issues due to defective hearing, disorders, and injury.
Train patients in operating auditory equipment and communication techniques like lip reading.
Stay updated on the latest developments and treatment procedures in audiology.
You must have these set of personality attributes to become a successful audiologist:
Genuine interest in helping people
Good communication skills
Good problem-solving skills
Familiarity with testing equipment and medical terminology concerning audiology
Proficient computer skills to generate reports and perform other tasks.
3. Is Audiology A Good Career In Australia?
A career in the Audiology industry can prove to be advantageous in several ways:
It is an exciting career for those who like working with people and helping them with their issues. You meet people daily and assist them with hearing debilities. Making a positive contribution to people gives you a sense of fulfilment. It makes the profession a rewarding experience.
Moreover, the right skillset opens new pathways for career progression. Besides healthcare, you can explore several other sectors, such as education, public administration, and manufacturing, which require audiologists to enhance employees' communication and hearing skills.
It is a stable and secure profession that provides plenty of work opportunities in almost all parts of Australia. Furthermore, the Australian audiologist qualification is recognised globally, which allows work anywhere in the world.
The career also offers flexibility to set up and run your private practice as an audiologist.
4. Qualifications For Audiologists In Australia
To become an accredited Audiologist in Australia, you must complete five years of university study. It entails a bachelor's and master's audiology degrees.
Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
Complete a bachelor's degree in subjects relevant to Audiology
Complete an accredited two-year master's degree in Clinical Audiology
You must complete a 1-year clinical internship program at an Audiology Australia-accredited workplace.
Obtain a National Police Certificate
Provide a First Aid Certificate and immunisations
Provide a Working with Children Check (if you wish to work with children below 18 years of age.)
5. Steps To Become An Audiologist In Australia
Audiologists are medical professionals who require many years of study to get qualified to practice.
Here are the key steps that you need to follow to make a career in audiology in Australia:
Step 1: Complete University Study
Aspiring audiologists must complete a university qualification to become eligible to enter the industry.
You must complete secondary studies in English, biology, mathematics, and chemistry, get an audiologist ATAR (minimum 80), and obtain a Certificate of Education.
Step 2: Complete A Bachelor's Degree In Audiology
You must complete a bachelor's degree in relevant subjects, such as science, health science, biomedicine, or linguistics.
The Bachelor of Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences course gives a thorough understanding of human communication. Other relevant degree options include a Bachelor of Biomedicine majoring in Health, a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology or Linguistics.
Step 3: Earn A Postgraduate Qualification In Audiology
The next step is to complete a 2-year master's degree majoring in clinical audiology. Only selected Australian institutes offer this postgraduate course.
You can find this course under the following names: master's in audiology, master's degree in audiology studies, or master's degree in clinical audiology.
Step 4: Complete A Clinical Internship And Obtain Accreditation
On completing both qualifications, you can now progress to the last step, completing a 1-year supervised Clinical Practice. During the traineeship, experienced Audiologists help clinical practice interns.
The Australian College of Audiology conducts a six-month internship program to enhance the job prospects of audiologists. The training instils the necessary confidence and prepares interns to work within the Australian healthcare system in audiology. On successful completion of the clinical internship, interns become Accredited audiologists.
Experienced international audiologists who have moved to Australia must also complete the clinical internship to become medically certified members of Audiology Australia.
As the accreditation has 1-year validity, you need to renew it yearly. You must demonstrate mandatory professional development in various activities such as attending conferences, study, research, training courses, and seminars.
Step 5. Apply For Jobs
Once you gain accreditation, you can start searching and applying for audiologist positions. Based on your interest and objectives, decide on the environment where you wish to work.
The most common workplaces are hospitals, education institutions, private clinics, and community health centres.
6. Relevant Audiology Courses In Australia
Audiology courses help students gain cognitive, technical, and creative skills in professional and theory practice in Clinical Audiology. This enables them to implement established theories in their clinical practice.
Furthermore, the course is a great way to seek supervised clinical placements in many workplace settings.
Audiology Australia, a leading training institute, conducts accredited audiology programs in six Australian universities. These courses are linked with health science and therapy programs.
They are delivered over two years (4 semesters) at the postgraduate level.
The graduates of these courses receive a Master of Audiology degree. Entry to these courses is competitive and depends on grade-point averages.
Master of Clinical Audiology - Macquarie University, NSW
Master of Audiology Studies - University of Queensland, Queensland
Master of Audiology - Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
Master of Audiology - Melbourne University, Victoria
Master of Audiology - La Trobe University, Victoria
Master/Ph.D. in Clinical Audiology - The University of Western Australia, Western Australia
Audiology Australia offers an online learning platform to help students learn at the pace and convenience of your clinic or home. Some of the best audiology courses online are:
Integrating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy into Audiological Practice CPDONLINE31
Considerations in prescribing amplification and fitting hearing aids for school-aged children CPDONLINE04
Current management of conductive hearing loss CPDONLINE05
Hearing aid handling and management CPDONLINE07
Hearing loss and dementia CPDONLINE09
7. How Long Does It Take To Become An Audiologist In Australia?
The time required to become an audiologist depends on your chosen career. Audiology Australia recommends a two-step process to qualify as an Audiologist.
So, it takes around six years to work as a qualified Audiologist in Australia.
8. Working Conditions For An Audiologist
Audiologists usually work in comfortable environments. They may work in a multidisciplinary team to enhance the patient's health and lifestyle.
Around 65% of employed audiologists work full-time. This shows that there are opportunities for part-time employment. When working full-time, they spend about 41 hours per week. This is less than the industry's average of 44 hours per week.
The average age of employed audiologists is 37 years compared to the industry's average of 40 years.
76% of the employed workforce constitutes females. This makes it a good occupation for aspiring female audiologists.
9. Where Does An Audiologist Work?
They can find employment opportunities in a variety of settings, including healthcare. Some of the most common workplaces include:
Rural and distant Aboriginal communities
Community health centres
Cochlear implant and Hearing aid Rehabilitation Clinic
Community outreach settings
Training centres for academic research
Educational institutions such as schools and universities
Healthcare research centres
Hearing and speech clinics
Manufacturing and public administration sectors
10. Job Prospects Of An Audiologist In Australia
The audiologist demand depends on factors such as population growth rate, public sector plans, and investments that impact the cost of health services for the ageing population.
The Job Outlook data shows that Audiologists grew rapidly from 1,500 in 2011 to 1,900 in 2016. Though audiology is a small profession in Australia, the Australian Labour Market expects strong growth in the coming 5-years.
Audiologists find the most work opportunities in the social assistance, health care, and public safety and administration sectors.
11. How Much Does An Audiologist Earn In Australia?
Based on Indeed, the average audiologist's salary in Australia is $87,899 per year or an hourly equivalent of $75.59 per hour in Australia.
Average Salary Based on Location
Wollongong, New South Wales: $101,128 per year
Canberra Australian Capital Territory: $93,497 per year
Sydney, New South Wales: $85,622 per year
Bendigo Victoria: $85,248 per year
Melbourne, Victoria: $82,234 per year
Newcastle, New South Wales: $81,873 per year
Brisbane Queensland: $81,644 per year
Average Salary Based on Experience
According to PayScale, an entry-level Audiologist (1-year experience) earns: AU$65,878
An early career Audiologist (1 to 4 years of experience) makes AU$72,512
A mid-career Audiologist (5 to 9 years of experience) makes AU$82,785
An experienced Audiologist (10 to 19 years of experience) makes AU$93,300
Working as an audiologist is a noble way to use your knowledge and skills to help and inspire people to lead normal lives.
Working in this profession provides emotional satisfaction and a rewarding experience not many jobs offer.
Considering the strong growth and consistent demand for audiologists, this is certainly a career that you must pursue in Australia.
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