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How to become an audiologist

One way to become an audiologist in the NHS is to apply for a practitioner training programme on our recruitment website. Alternatively, you can complete a pre-registration postgraduate degree in Audiology at university.

What is an audiologist?

Audiologists support people who may have hearing loss, tinnitus, complex auditory or sound sensitivity disorders, or medical conditions that affect their hearing or balance.

They carry out assessments and analyse test results, which are used to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient. Audiologists also support the implementation of the treatment plan with the patient.

Starting your career as an audiologist

Choosing subjects at school

If you’re interested in a career as an audiologist, useful school subjects include:

  • English
  • Biology
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry

Speak to your guidance teacher or careers adviser about subjects offered at your school.

Workplacements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to college, university, or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Education and training pathway

There are different education and training pathways to becoming an audiologist. Whichever route you choose, you must complete a pre-registration degree programme.

Clinical physiology undergraduate training programme

A widely recognised route is to complete an undergraduate-level training programme.

As a trainee audiologist, you’ll be employed by an NHSScotland Health Board while you complete an undergraduate honours degree programme at SCQF level 10. You’ll also receive training within the department to provide you with the skills, knowledge, and experience you’ll need to become an audiologist. 

Pre-registration postgraduate route 

Queen Margaret University offers an MSc Audiology programme at SCQF level 11 if you already have a related undergraduate degree. 

Academy for Healthcare Science

The Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) maintains voluntary registers for healthcare science professions not covered by statutory registration and regulation. These registers are accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA).

When you qualify as an audiologist, you can register with the AHCS as a healthcare science practitioner.

Find out more about the Academy for Healthcare Science.

Course search

Search for university programmes on My World of Work.

Get to know the role

As an audiologist, you’ll assess patients to help in the diagnosis and treatment of auditory disorders, hearing loss, or neurological problems. You’ll also support patients with different treatment options, including the following:

  • Selecting and fitting hearing aids.
  • Providing information and counselling on adjusting to their hearing loss.
  • Getting the most from technology and other rehabilitation options.

Some typical assessments or investigations can include:

  • Auditory tests for babies, children, and adults, such as pure-tone audiometry and tympanometry.
  • Test a person’s sense of balance and check for symptoms of inner ear vestibular disorders.
  • Examinations of a patient’s outer ears, ear canal, and eardrum.
  • Take impressions of a patient’s ear to create an ear mould for a hearing aid.
  • Help other healthcare professionals to diagnose the cause of a patient’s hearing loss by reporting on and interpreting test results.
  • Test and maintain hearing devices.
  • Provide counselling and support on helping patients adjust to their hearing loss.
  • Providing information on communication tactics, getting the best from the different listening environments they are in and using assistive equipment alongside or separately to their hearing aids. 

You’ll also monitor patients over time to check that therapeutic rehabilitation is improving their wellbeing and quality of life.

Some audiologists provide clinical supervision and training to the following:

  • audiology trainees
  • students on placement
  • healthcare science support workers
  • other healthcare professionals
  • medical students

You’ll need these skills:

  • collaborating
  • communicating
  • decision-making
  • leading
  • problem-solving
  • critical thinking

You’ll work with:

  • ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons
  • doctors
  • neurologists
  • speech and language therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • teachers of people who are deaf

As an audiologist, you might work in:

  • ENT clinics
  • hospital
  • the community
  • peoples' homes

Learning and development

Once you’ve become a registered audiologist, there are ongoing requirements for education and skills development. You’ll have lots of opportunities to go further and learn more.

Career progression

With training and experience, you could move into a specialist, advanced, or management role, such as an audiology service manager.

Clinical scientist equivalence recognition

Audiologists can apply to become clinical scientists to progress in their careers.

If you already have significant professional NHS experience in audiology or have completed a training programme that does not directly lead to registration as a clinical scientist, you can apply for equivalence recognition.

It is a route you can take to demonstrate that you already have the skills, knowledge, and experience to become a clinical scientist in audiology.

You’ll submit a portfolio of work to the AHCS or the Association of Clinical Scientists for assessment and attend an interview. If successful, you can register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a clinical scientist.

Professional bodies

Once you become a qualified audiologist, you can register with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).

Students, trainee audiologists, and qualified practitioners can join the British Academy of Audiology (BAA).

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