What is an audiologist?

Audiologists are the only professionals who are university trained and licensed to identify, evaluate, diagnose, and treat audiologic disorders of hearing. Audiologists may be found practicing in Private Audiology Offices, Hospitals, Medical Practices, Universities, Private and Public Agencies and Public Schools.

All individuals with suspected hearing loss require audiological hearing tests to determine the type, degree, and cause of the hearing impairment. Managed care companies are realizing that efficient cost-effective hearing health care requires that primary care physicians refer patients directly to audiologists to determine whether rehabilitation or medical/surgical treatment is indicated. This occurs because fewer than 20% of all individuals with hearing loss require medical or surgical treatment. Rehabilitation treatment consists primarily of the design, selection, and fitting of hearing aids and/or assistive listening and altering devices, which is usually completed in the audiology office.

The services provided by audiologists include:

  • Comprehensive Audiological Evaluations including tests of hearing sensitivity, speech understanding, middle ear function, and inner ear and auditory nerve function.
  • Diagnostic Tests for Balance/Dizziness Disorders.
  • Design, selection, and fitting of hearing aids and/or assistive listening and alerting devices.
  • Design, selection, installation, and monitoring of classroom amplification systems.
  • Hearing conservation programs for industry, custom hearing and noise protection
  • Rehabilitation therapy which might include strategies to improve aided and unaided hearing, lip-reading, and sign-language.


Why do I need and should see an audiologist?

Audiologists hold a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited university with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and the rehabilitation of persons with hearing impairments. In Pennsylvania, audiologists are licensed to practice audiology by the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. Audiologists are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a demanding national comprehensive examination. By virtue of their graduate education, professional certification, and licensure, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform hearing tests, fit hearing aids and assistive listening and alerting devices, provide rehabilitative services, and refer patients for medical treatment.

Updated: 6/13/16

​South Carolina Academy of Audiology