What is a Hearing Aid Specialist
Hearing aid specialists (also known as Hearing Instrument Specialists or Hearing Aid Practitioners) administer and interpret hearing tests on patients, as well as select and fit hearing aids for customers. They help to assess the functioning of the hearing instrument, as well as taking impressions of the ear to prepare or modify ear molds. They are separate from, though often work with, audiologists. For information on how to become a hearing aid specialist, please visit our hearing aid specialist job description page.
Hearing aid specialists tend to work in a retail setting. While this can be tedious for some, the work is specialized enough that many of the difficulties and frustrations of typical retail work do not present themselves, while the pleasures of offering helpful, and in some cases life-altering, services are highly rewarding.
The work schedule of a hearing aid specialist is typically 40 hours per week, often during standard business hours (ie 9-5, though this can vary slightly). There is little variability in this work schedule, as their services are not often in demand on an emergency basis. However, as with any position, occasional overtime can occur, and the standard business hours are dependent on the employer.
Mean Annual Hearing Aid Specialist Salary
The average annual hearing aid specialist salary is $46,780. The mean 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 $22,350 and the top 10% makes well over $80,950.
Hearing Aid Specialist Salary: Quick Summary
|2012 Mean Salary||$46,780 per year
$22.49 per hour
|Top 10% Salary||$80,950 per year
$38.92 per hour
|Bottom 10% Salary||$22,350 per year
$10.75 per hour
|Number of Jobs, 2012||4,980|
Hearing Aid Specialist Job Outlook and Prospects
With an aging population and decreased concern regarding the overall soundscape, particularly in urban areas and in various occupations, demand for hearing aid specialists is expected to grow far above the average 17% of other health care occupations in the next ten years; indeed, there is an expected annual growth of around 2.25%. A total of 18, 510 new jobs are expected to be created in this occupation by 2018.
A louder world is leading to increasing issues with hearing among all ages of the population, not just the elderly, resulting in a higher need for hearing aids and hearing protection for many. Increased sound pollution in manufacturing industries will result in more workers to have hearing problems in the long run. Consequently, this will create new job opportunities for hearing aid specialists.
Hearing Aid Specialist Salary: Factors of Influence
Hearing aid specialist salary is highly variable, ranging from a mean of $22,350 per year for the lowest 10%, to upwards of $80,950 for the top 10%. Ultimately, the mean annual wage across the country is approximately $46,780, influenced primarily by geographic location, industry worked in, and experience within that industry.
Education and Specialization
Specialization is less of a determinate factor in hearing aid specialist salary, however increased training and education can help. With further certification, a hearing aid specialist can have a wider range of responsibilities in the workplace, allowing for higher salary offers, increased bargaining power for raises, and an overall greater value as an employee. Such fields for further education can include aural rehabilitation techniques and cochlear implant use, among others.
Experience and Position
Experience is a primary factor affecting hearing aid specialist salary. While an entry-level position can offer below $30,000, those working for more than 10 years in the field will often make at or above the national average.
Position is less of a factor in hearing aid specialist salary. While one may see minor advances in position with further training, generally significant salary advances will require increased education to the level of audiologist (or greater).
The industry worked will greatly influence hearing aid specialist salary; those working in general medical and surgical hospitals tend to earn an average of $34,370. In comparison, those working in health and personal care stores (where the majority of hearing aid specialist positions exist) earn around $51,410, and the highest annual wage is among those working in other general merchandise stores, at $56,280.
Location is the most effective means for influencing hearing aid specialist salary. The state of Kansas offers the lowest annual mean wage, of $30,850, though it has a lower cost of living associated with that. In comparison, the highest paying state is Hawaii, with an annual mean wage of $74,040. Montana and Tennessee hold positions 2 and 3 in the top five paying states, each offering around $70,000, while New Jersey and Philadelphia hold positions 4 and 5, at approximately $66,000 each.
Further to this, while the data is somewhat spotty (as the occupation is in a state of growth), metropolitan areas show large fluctuations, from the $18,980 of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas, to the $88,730 of Southwestern Montana.
Hearing Aid Specialist Salary: Top 5
|Top Paying Metropolitan Areas||Top Paying States||Top Paying Industries||States with Highest Employment Level|
|Honolulu, HI: $75,570||Hawaii: $74,040||Other General Merchandise Stores: $56,280||California: (860 jobs) $54,320|
|Philadelphia, PA: $63,680||Montana: $70,230||Other Ambulatory Health Care Services: $55,530||Texas: (530 jobs) $33,930|
|Edison, NJ: $63,010||Tennessee: $70,170||Health and Personal Care Stores: $51,410||Washington: (240 jobs) $49,930|
|Phoenix, AZ: $61,980||New Jersey: $66,440||Offices of Other Health Care Practitioners: $42,800||Arizona: (200 jobs)|
|Oxnard, CA: $58,020||Pennsylvania: $66,140||General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $34,370||Ohio: (160 jobs) $45,370|