how do I become an audiologist? Is it worth it?
Any better career options than audiology? I want to do something in healthcare/science..
"Is it worth it?" is kind of a loaded question. Depends on how you define what is of worth to you.
Is the pay as good as most other professions that require 4 years undergrad and 4 years graduate training? No not even close. Optometry and Psychology and PT have it beat, but Optometry is much more difficult to get into graduate school for.
Here is the plus side of Audiology for me:
1. I am not on call. I work my set schedule and I leave work at work
2. I don't have to deal with needle sticks or most of the issues that nurses, physicians, mid level providers deal with. The
worst I usually see is a draining ear or some nasty infection
3. I have a lot of career options and my career is fluid meaning if I get tired of pediatrics I can go to adults. If I get tired of
dealing with private sector and insurance I can go to the VA. If I get sick of seeing patients I can go get an administrative
job or work for a hearing aid company. You can go military reserves if you want extra cash or moonlight other places. I can
do all those things without ever having to get additional education
4. I am in a field that is only going to continue to get more patients as people live longer and young people kill their ears
with headphones and loud music
5. I enjoy the immediate gratification audiology offers. Patient has hearing loss and suffering in their daily life due to their
disability. I test them and put hearing aids on them and the same day their enjoyment of life improves. Also being there
the day a child has a cochlear implant evaluation or the first time a child turns to their mother because they hear their
voice is one of the most impactful moments you can have as a clinician. I've also been the person who has helped a person
enjoy the last months of their life with the ability to converse with their family and friends. So to me it's a very rewarding
job most days.
So is it worth it? Depends on what you value. For me the low responsibility for a lot of things and set schedule with more family time means a lot to me. As for the salary I've had years I cleared 100k easily and didn't work myself to death. I tend to like my patients and have a good relationship with them like a family physician would. I have patients that will probably be with me until I retire. We know each other. They know my family and about my life and I know about theirs.