What do Hearing Aid Specialists Do?
Hearing Aid Specialists select and fit hearing aids for clients. These specialists administer and interpret hearing tests, assess the efficacy of hearing instruments, and prepare, design, and modify ear molds that are used to create custom fit hearing aids.Due to a projected increase in the number of older Americans, Hearing Aid Specialists will see a 25% growth in jobs over the next several years, with an expected 190 new jobs to be created. These specialists work with audiologists as well as physical, occupational and speech therapists and physicians. Besides hospitals and private medical practices, Hearing Aid Specialists work for other health care services and in retail.
Hearing Aid Specialists Skills and Abilities
Hearing Aid Specialists work closely with their clients so you must have strong interpersonal skills. Customer service skills such as meeting quality standards for service and evaluating customer satisfaction are essential. You should also have a good understanding of psychology, and be able to market products and services according to customer needs and preferences. Some key skills and abilities of Hearing Aid Specialists are:
- Service Orientation – actively looking for ways to help people
- Instructing – teaching others how to do something
- Problem Sensitivity – the ability to tell when something is wrong or might go wrong
- Written and Oral Communication – includes comprehension, clarity, and the ability to effectively transfer ideas to others
Hearing Aid Specialists Duties
Hearing Aid Specialists primarily work with clients to screen the quality of their hearing and determine types and causes of hearing loss. You will achieve this by administering various hearing tests. You will also maintain and repair hearing aids and train clients to use and care for them properly. Your familiarity with all kinds of assistive technology will be used to help your clients decide which products to buy. Hearing Aid Specialists must be continually learning by reading trade literature, talking with colleagues and participating in professional organizations. You will need to be able to make decisions and solve problems through analysis of information and evaluation of various solutions. Some specific tasks you will be performing are:
- Perform basic screening procedures and screening of ear canal status using otoscope.
- Administer basic hearing tests including air conduction, bone conduction, or speech audiometry tests.
- Select and administer tests to evaluate hearing or related disabilities.
- Maintain or repair hearing aids or other communication devices.
- Train clients to use hearing aids or other augmentative communication devices.
- Create or modify impressions for ear molds and hearing aid shells.
- Demonstrate assistive listening devices (ALDs) to clients.
- Diagnose and treat hearing or related disabilities under the direction of an audiologist.
- Assist audiologists in performing aural procedures
Hearing Aid Specialists Tools and Technology
Hearing Aid Specialists work with audiology equipment such as audiometers, auditory function screening units, aural probes, hearing aids of all types, and otoscopes. You will also use software designed for medical uses, spreadsheets, word processing and presentations.
Education and Training for Hearing Aid Specialists
Hearing Aid specialists typically only hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and have no prior work experience when they are hired at their first job. To be competitive, you should consider post-secondary education since over 33% of workers in this occupation have some college experience and nearly 20% hold a Bachelor’s Degree.
Hearing Aid Specialists Salary
The median salary for this occupation is $43,000. The top 10% earn $77,000 while the lowest 10% make just over $22,000.
Hearing Aid Specialists Jobs by Geography
The highest salaries are available in Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Arizona, but level of pay is more strongly related to who your employer is than by geographical region.