Can I Become an Audiologist with a Degree in Health Science?

Can I Become an Audiologist with a Degree in Health Science?If you are looking into the possibility of a career in audiology, you may be wondering if you can become an audiologist with a degree in health science. Audiologists work to assess and treat hearing or balance difficulties in patients. Some audiologists are certified at the master’s level, but it is becoming more typical for audiologists to hold a doctorate level degree. So you may be looking at a number of years of schooling to follow this career path.

Health Sciences as a Broad Based Stepping Stone

Prior to going into graduate studies in audiology, whether you pursue a master’s or doctorate degree, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree. A health science degree (please see: Top 20 Most Affordable Health Science Degree Programs) is a broad based bachelor’s degree that can become a stepping stone to a wide variety of healthcare careers. These may include careers in administration, clerical support, communications, clinical lab sciences, counseling therapies, dietetics, education, medicine, nursing, mortuary science or radiological technology, just to name a handful of possibilities. It may also be a stepping stone toward graduate work in rehabilitative therapies, which could include careers such as physical and occupational therapy as well as audiology.

The areas covered by a health science degree can be quite broad, ranging from chemistry, physics and biology to medical terminology and community health. If you know early on in your health science degree that you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in audiology, you might want to talk to your mentors and academic advisors about good course options to help you prepare more specifically for that kind of work. Courses that cover communication disorders or speech pathology might be especially beneficial. Some people choose to actually pursue a more specific bachelor’s degree in those kinds of areas, but if you’re not yet sure what healthcare field you want to enter, a health science degree is a good, broad based option.

Further Education

Once you’ve completed your health science degree, you can move on to get a graduate degree. Since the doctor of audiology (AuD) is becoming the standard, accepted degree for practice in many states, you might go straight into that type of program. In general, the doctorate level work will take another four years (in addition to the four you’ve already completed as an undergraduate). You’ll take classes in topics related to audiology, do at least 300 hours of supervised clinical work, write a dissertation and pass an oral exam. It’s a rigorous process that also includes clinical work as a postgraduate and the passing of a national exam. Audiologists are typically certified either through the American Speech Language Hearing Association or through the American Board of Audiology. Both of those organizations should be able to provide you with helpful information about an audiology career and your educational options in pursuing one.

Although it takes a lot of time and effort to complete your education in this field, audiology can be a rewarding career. It provides practitioners the chance to help people with hearing loss cope and thrive with their challenges. The best answer to whether or not you can become an audiologist with a degree in health science is “yes,” although your health science degree will only be a first step.