What is an Audiologist
Audiologists (also known as Dispensing Audiologist, Clinical Audiologist, Hearing Therapist, and Licensed Audiologist) are medical professionals who diagnose and rehabilitate patients with hearing and/or balance disorders. They also help patients with tinnitus and other hearing disabilities. They are not medical doctors, but rather constitute allied health professionals; they are trained experts, with doctoral degrees in audiology, however they do not have a medical degree. To find out more on how to become an audiologist, please visit our audiologist job description page.
The majority of audiologists work in health care facilities, including hospitals and physicians’ offices, or more directly in audiology clinics. Some will work for manufacturing industries or wholesalers, while others work for school districts.
In the case of health care facilities, the work environment will be well-lit and relatively peaceful; as they are working on the rehabilitative side of health care, they will rarely need to deal with emergency situations. Working in school districts will involve more hectic schedules, working with children and often requiring travel between facilities.
Most audiologists work forty to fifty hours per week, however this depends on the industry worked. Some do work part-time, however the majority will work full time, and can have a hectic work life. As well, audiologists need to interact with a broad range of people, including patients and physicians, which can cause a heavier load on the schedule.
Mean Annual Audiologist Salary
The average audiologist in the United States makes about $72,890 per year. The average salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and divid that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $43,820 and the top 10% makes well over $101,130.
Audiologist Salary: Quick Summary
|2012 Mean Salary||$72,890 per year
$35.04 per hour
|Top 10% Salary||$101,130 per year
$48.62 per hour
|Bottom 10% Salary||$43,820 per year
$21.07 per hour
|Number of Jobs, 2012||12,060|
Audiologist Job Outlook and Prospects
As people age, hearing loss increases, due both to natural causes as well as potentially damaging sonic environments. Indeed, with little government oversight of the soundscape around us, or the permissible decibel levels, hearing damage is on the rise. As such, the job outlook for audiologists is glowing, with an expected 34% growth between 2012 and 2022. Problems in overall soundscape, and the aging population, are the primary factors contributing to this growth.
Factors affecting an Audiologist’s Wage
An audiologist’s income is affected by many factors. The mean annual wage of $72,890 can be raised or lowered by such aspects as the geographic location of the audiologist, their education and specialization, and the industry he or she works in. As well, differences between rural and urban positions exist, with larger cities and metropolitan areas offering higher salaries than rural areas.
The potential differences in salaries are vast, with the highest 10% earning $101,130, while the lowest 10% earn $43,820. This nearly $60,000 difference is attributable to the aforementioned factors, as well as the experience and position of the audiologist.
Education and Specialization
Education is an important factor for consideration in an audiologist’s salary; all audiologists require a doctoral degree in audiology, however earning this degree from a more reputable university will result in higher wages. As well, a focus on particular areas or specialties, such as tinnitus rehabilitation or pediatric audiology (identifying and treating hearing loss in children), is beneficial.
Hearing loss for musicians is another area of special consideration; musicians are highly dependent on their hearing, more so than the average person. As such, specially-designed earplugs are in high demand among this group, as well as research in to hearing preservation.
Experience and Position
Experience is nearly a requirement for salary improvements in all fields, and audiologist’s salary is no exception. Greater experience will allow an audiologist to more quickly diagnose and treat common issues, and give them a broader base of knowledge to work with more complicated patient symptoms.
As well, position is an area for consideration; an experienced audiologist may head a department specifically devoted to hearing in a hospital or clinic, or may lead a team under an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) physician.
Industries are highly varied in audiologist’s salary, with the offices of physicians being closest to the mean at $71,380. Working in health and personal care stores or public schools will bring a salary lower than the mean, offering $65,270 and $67,280, respectively. Specialty hospitals, however, have a mean annual wage of $78,820, and outpatient care centers offer the best industry salaries, averaging $81,960.
Geographic location is perhaps the most determinate factor in an audiologist’s annual income, with average wages at the state level ranging from $49,190 in Louisiana, to $97,950 in New York. Hawaii follows closely behind New York at $96,720, and Washington brings in the third highest state mean at $94,040.
Urban areas tend to offer better wages than rural areas, and this is reflected when looking at the metropolitan level of earnings. Sacramento, CA has the third-highest wages, at $90,760. Honolulu, HI comes in second, offering $97,080, and the best salaries are in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA, at $99,070.
Audiologist Salary: Top 5
|Top Paying Metropolitan Areas||Top Paying States||Top Paying Industries||States with Highest Employment Level|
|Seattle, WA: $99,070||New York: $97,950||Outpatient Care Centers: $81,960||California: (1,560 jobs) $75,640|
|Honolulu, HI: $97,080||Hawaii: $96,720||Profesional and Commercial Equipement Wholesalers: $80,930||Texas: (900 jobs) $68,750|
|Sacramento, CA: $90,760||Washington: $94,040||Specialty Hospitals: $78,820||New York: (700 jobs) $97,950|
|Wilmington, DE: $89,680||Kentucky: $88,490||Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical and Control Instruments Manufacturing: $78,100||Illinois: (600 jobs) $77,150|
|Washington, D.C: $87,810||Delaware: $88,120||Offices of Other Health Practitioners: $74,940||Florida: (550 jobs) $71,760|