Hearing is an indispensable part of one’s life and it is very discomforting if we or our loved ones suffer from any hearing problem. Audiology is the treatment of hearing impairment and speech-related disorders. An audiologist specializes in diagnosing and evaluating hearing problems using advanced technology. One can turn up to audiologists to know about the types of hearing loss, types of hearing aids and many more such complications. This blog is for all those who want to pursue a career in audiology!
The science of Audiology
Hearing disability has not been recognized for long as a major disease, but people facing it suffer from day-to-day distress and many-a-times, exacerbated complications. There is a severe dearth of audiologists and speech pathologists in the country and there are only close to 2000 registered speech therapists and audiologists.
Akuphone, the first electronic hearing aid founded by Miller Reese Hutchinson has come to the rescue of many who suffer from hearing loss. Audiologists examine the inner and middle ear, cochlea (critical in hearing) and vestibular region (important for balance and spatial orientation). Depending on the problem, they conduct several other examinations including:
- Cleaning of the ear canal
- Fitting cochlear implant
- Prescribing speech therapy
- Hearing conservation programs, services, and counseling
- Hearing research
To pursue a career in audiology one must be aware of an array of courses available to become an audiologist ranging from diploma courses to bachelor’s and master’s courses. The aspirant must at least earn a bachelor’s degree to be called an audiologist but to practice and become a professional audiologist, a master’s degree is important. Further, a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or AUD) is needed to earn national certification. These degrees are well recognized abroad.
For admission in Bachelor’s, Mathematics and Science subjects are compulsory in 10+2. The candidate then needs to clear the entrance exam conducted by the University, the center that conducts the All India Medical Entrance Test or the State that conducts the Entrance Examination.
Various courses available in Audiology and Speech and Hearing are:
- Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
- Sc. (Audiology)
- Sc. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Bachelors of Special Education (Hearing Impairment)
- Diploma in Hearing Aid and Earmould Technology
- Ed (Special Education-Distance Mode)
- D. (Audiology)
- D. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Certificate Course on Communication Disorders
Career prospects and Salary
Audiologists can find employment in government and private institutions, teaching and healthcare establishments. They can also work with practicing physicians, hearing aid manufacturers and NGOs. Hence, if a career in audiology offers opportunities from various sectors, you may want to read a bit more about where you can pursue and how.
Presently, there is a paucity of audiologists in India. As the cases of hearing impairment are increasing, audiology courses are in great demand. The earning depends on qualification and practice. The initial salary may range from Rs 20,000 to 30,000 a month. With an increase in experience and skills, the salary increases.
Approximately 50 institutions in the country, including five in Tamil Nadu, offer a four-year Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) course. Few universities offer masters as well as a doctorate degree in audiology. Twenty universities in India, including both public and private, some with their own multidisciplinary clinical setups, provide Speech Pathology and Audiology programs, which are accredited by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI).
Indian Institutes offering audiology courses
|1||All India Institute of Speech & Hearing||Mysore|
|2||Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at BharatiyaVidyapeethMedical College||Pune|
|3||Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped||Mumbai, Kolkata, Secunderabad, New Delhi|
|4||Dr. SRC Institute of Speech and Hearing||Bangalore|
|5||Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute||Chennai|
|6||National Institute of Speech & Hearing||Kerala|
|7||BYL Nair Hospital and Medical College||Mumbai|
|8||Dr. MV Shetty Institute of Speech and Hearing||Mangalore|
International Institutes offering audiology courses
|1||Nova Southeastern University||Doctorate||Florida, USA|
|2||East Tennessee State University||Doctorate||Johnson City, USA|
|3||St. John’s University||Master||New York, USA|
|4||California State University, Long Beach||Master||California, USA|
|5||University of Queensland||Master||Brisbane, Australia|
|6||Vanderbilt University||Graduate||Tennessee, USA|
|7||University of Washington||Graduate, Master, Doctorate||Washington, USA|
|8||University of Texas—â€‹Dallas||Graduate, Master, Doctorate||Texas, USA|
|9||University of Southampton||Master||Southampton, United Kingdom|
Hence, a career in Audiology could be a great career choice, considering the number of national and international opportunities it offers. Owing to the increased number of cases of hearing problems, there is a dire need for more professionals in the area of audiology. Audiology provides patients with ease from day-to-day distress of hearing and speech impairments. With an advanced qualification in this field, the monetary compensation received is also competitive.