An audiologist is a professional whose main task is to examine people's ears and give useful and practical advice on how to best take care of one's ears and sense of hearing. Aside from the hearing, one would be surprised that an audiologist deals with a lot of other things, such as a person's sense of balance, because balance is also governed by structures deep inside a person's ear. Therefore, abnormalities with gait and disequilibrium are also within the domain of an audiologist.
While audiologists are not exactly medical doctors in the same way that otorhinolaryngolists (doctors who are specialized in dealing with conditions of the ears, nose and throat) are, audiologists have a great knowledge of how the ear works and common conditions that affect its function. To assess hearing, the audiologist uses a battery of tests to localize whether the problem is in the ear drum, the inner ear or the actual nerves that send impulses from the ear to the brain and the nervous system. Their expertise also allows them to give advice to people who may need extra protection for their hearing due to their line of work and those who experience hearing loss. They can also recommend certain procedures like the fitting of hearing aids, and in some cases, can also make medical referrals to facial surgeons for correction of certain deformities and other abnormalities.
A good audiologist should also be a sympathetic person who can relate well with people. Patients often come to clinics distraught and worried, so you'll be also responsible for allaying your patient's fears and making them consider the possible choices for further treatment and rehabilitation. Since you'll be doing a lot of patient interaction, brush up on your social skills and try your best to establish rapport.
Education. To become a good audiologist, one must have a good grasp of the sciences. A healthy interest in biology, human anatomy and physiology would be great starting points for your education. These degree courses are offered in many colleges and universities, so they can easily serve as a great introduction to a possible career in audiology or other medical sciences.
Once you graduate, you may apply for a doctorate in Audiology. This is now a requirement in all states prior to certification, so you will be better off if you finish it as soon as possible. Applying for this specialization allows you greater exposure to what an audiologist does. Other than knowing how the ear works and how we hear things, one would be exposed to the actual working conditions in an audiology clinic. These experiences make the skill more natural and second nature to a future audiologist.
Licensing. The local state board would hold these examinations regularly, so inquire with the state board, or check your state government's website. The minimum requirements also include at least 75 hours worth of post-baccalaureate work as well as a 12-month working history under close supervision.
After you display exemplary competencies in the disciplines under Audiology, you may be headed to your brand new career. As with any health-related career, you can be proud in the fact that you help people keep fit and healthy.