An Audiologist will usually complete six to eight years of school, whereas becoming a Hearing Aid Specialist will usually take a fraction of that. We’ve posted a much more detailed article about the specifics of Hearing Aid Dispenser work, so check that out if you want to learn more about the type of work you’d be doing in this field.
So how long does it take to become a Hearing Aid Specialist?
The answer to that question can vary from state to state, but typically you’ll need to pass a written exam to become certified. As far as education, some employers will only require a high school diploma, though many do require an associate degree in a relevant field.
Training will typically come in the form of an apprenticeship. These positions are paid, and ZipRecruiter estimates that the median salary for these jobs is $59,012 per year, though they often pay as low as $30,000 per year. As a huge caveat to this, however, we suspect that ZipRecruiter is factoring in a lot of non-trainee-level work, so we’d expect to see salaries on the lower end of that spectrum for people who are working apprenticeships.
If you’ve decided that you want to work in this field, there are a couple different paths open to you.
Your first option is to enroll in an associate program. Once you earn your degree, you’ll take the exam, and from that point, you’ll start looking for apprenticeship work. Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you’ll be ready to work as a full-time Hearing Aid Specialist.
The second option is to skip the school part and jump right into the exam.
Obviously, the first path will be the longer of the two, but it’s really hard to deny the benefit of having a good education. Even if you end up in a field that’s entirely unrelated to what you had intended to go to school for, that education will give you a leg up in your job search. It will also allow you to network with people who will ultimately be looking for work – perhaps work that’s very similar to yours – which means you could end up getting referrals from people you attended classes with.
Then again, school is not always the best option for everyone, and there are several reasons you might need to get into the workforce as soon as you possibly can. In that case, the second option seems like the better one. Keep in mind, however, that several opportunities will be looking for applicants with some education. The flipside of this, of course, is that you can always choose option two, and if your job search ends up dry because of lack of education, you can enroll in college at that point. Choosing the second option doesn’t exclude you from later choosing the first.
So that’s a lot of words to basically say that the requirements can vary by state and employer, but you can expect to at the very least have to take an exam. Beyond that, you might have two years of school, and you’ll likely have an apprenticeship, which will also take two years.
The short answer, then, is that it takes between two and four years, on average, to become a hearing aid specialist.
If you’re looking for work in this field, Staffing Proxy might be able to help you. Contact us today to see if there are any Hearing Aid Specialist jobs in your area.