- Association of New Zealand Audiology Incorporated (ANZAI) website, accessed April 2012, (www.anzai.org.nz).
- Gunn, M, executive officer, New Zealand Audiologicial Society (NZAS), Careers New Zealand interview, April 2012.
- Immigration New Zealand,'Long Term Skill Shortage List', accessed November 2013, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Searchfield, G, head of audiology, University of Auckland, Careers New Zealand interview, November 2013.
- Robertson, J, president, Association of New Zealand Audiology Incorporated (ANZAI), Careers New Zealand interview, April 2012.
Audiologist/Audiometrist - How to enter the job
Audiologists and audiometrists study, identify, measure and treat hearing disorders and loss. They also provide aids and/or other listening devices to assist patients who have hearing loss.
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Audiologist: Master of Audiology
Audiometrist: Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation Diploma
Pay for audiologists depends on their experience and where they work.
- Trainee audiologists who are working under supervision can expect to earn between $45,000 and $65,000 a year.
- Qualified audiologists working in public hospitals or schools for the deaf usually earn between $60,000 and $80,000.
- Audiologists working in private audiology practices usually earn between $70,000 and $100,000.
- Charge audiologists (the most senior in a team of audiologists) in private practices usually earn between $80,000 and $110,000, which may include bonuses, profit-sharing, and perks such as a company car.
Pay for owners of private practices depends on the success of their businesses.
Pay for audiometrists depends on their experience and where they work:
- Audiometrists in the public sector usually earn between $38,000 and $50,400 a year.
- Audiometrists in the private sector usually earn about $60,000 a year, although pay varies depending on their experience.
Pay for owners of private practices depends on the success of their businesses.
Sources: New Zealand Audiological Society; and Association of New Zealand Audiology Inc.
What you will do
Audiologists/audiometrists may do some or all or the following:
- study, identify and measure hearing problems, using specialised equipment
- advise on hearing problems and prescribe, select and fit hearing aids
- help patients with rehabilitation after an accident or condition that caused hearing loss
- repair hearing aids and supply hearing aid batteries.
Audiologists may also:
- research hearing problems
- assess and manage auditory processing disorders
- do assessments of workplace and classroom sound levels
- work with cochlear implantees to fine-tune what they are hearing through the device
- prescribe other specialised hearing devices.
Skills and knowledge
Audiologists/audiometrists need to have:
- knowledge of hearing problems
- up-to-date knowledge of the treatment of hearing problems
- knowledge of the structure and function of the ear and brain
- knowledge of hearing aids and other hearing devices
- knowledge of acoustics and physics
- knowledge of child development.
Knowledge of New Zealand Sign Language may also be helpful.
- usually work regular business hours
- work in hospitals, private practices, universities, and hearing aid companies
- may travel around New Zealand to attend conferences or visit clinics , rest homes or people's houses to conduct hearing tests.
What's the job really like?
Nigel Sallis - Audiologist
How did you get into the job?
"I play a lot of music and I had a science background at university, so I just combined the two and came up with audiology."
What does your job involve?
"I work for a manufacturer of high-tech hearing aids, so I visit audiologists, their patients and staff, ear, nose and throat doctors, and non-clinical groups, such as advisers to deaf children, to update them and work through any difficult cases they have.
"I have to keep up to speed with the technology, but I like that – it's what keeps me interested. You don't just walk out and you're trained – it's continual, you're always having to upskill."
What skills does an audiologist need?
"Audiology is not simply putting a hearing aid in.It's looking at the person as a whole and saying, 'What's your lifestyle? How can we meet the demands of your lifestyle?' Assessing that can be quite complex.
"The great thing about clinical work is you're there to help people – to provide a service to adults, children and babies. Being able to deal with children and babies requires a lot of flexibility."
To become an audiologist you usually require a Master of Audiology (MAud), which are available from either the University of Auckland or the University of Canterbury. An MAud is required to become a member of the New Zealand Audiological Society.
To enter Master of Audiology programmes, you need to have an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Arts or Science, preferably in physiology and/or psychology, or a Bachelor of Speech-Language Therapy.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a trainee audiometrist.
To train as an audiometrist, you need to get a job as a trainee audiometrist.
You may then study for the Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation Diploma by distance education through the Australian provider, TAFE (Technical and Further Education) NSW (New South Wales).
- University of Auckland website - information about the Master of Audiology programme
- University of Canterbury website - information about the Master of Audiology programme
- TAFE NSW (Australia) website - information on the Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation Diploma.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include biology, physics and English.
Audiologists/audiometrists need to be:
- good listeners, who are able to relate to a wide range of people
- good communicators with people skills
- good at planning and research.
Useful experience for audiologists includes:
- work in nursing homes
- work with people who have hearing impairments.
Audiologists and audiometrists need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses). They should also have good hearing and a clear speaking voice.
View information on courses in the course database
Find out more about training
years of training usually required for audiologists
What are the chances of getting a job?
About 30 audiologists are expected to graduate in 2014, about the same number as is required to meet demand, according to the New Zealand Audiology Society.
While some audiologist graduates have difficulty finding work, there are still opportunities for those prepared to work outside the main centres and some private practices in the regions report difficulty filling positions.
Small size of audiometrists' workforce means entering the role is difficult
Opportunities to become an audiometrist are harder to come by because:
- only about 50 people work in this role, meaning it's difficult to get a position as a trainee audiometrist
- people usually stay in the role for a long time, so turnover is low.
Most audiologists and audiometrists work for public or private health providers
Many audiologists and audiometrists work for public and private audiology clinics or hospitals.
They may also work for:
- hearing-aid manufacturers
- universities, doing research and teaching
- education centres for people who are deaf or hearing-impaired
- the North Island or Southern Cochlear Implant Programme
- government organisations, such as the Ministry of Health, doing consultancy work
- non-profit centres and foundations such as the National Foundation for the Deaf.
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Progression and specialisations
People work in this field as either an:
- audiologist – working with complex hearing problems, including hearing aid prescription, fitting and management
- audiometrist – carrying out hearing assessments, prescribing and fitting of hearing aids.
Audiologists/audiometrists may progress to work in management either in a private practice or a public hospital audiology department. Their may also establish their own practice.
How many people are doing this job?
Updated 7 Apr 2014