Audiologist

"As an audiologist I am an expert in hearing and balance. I work with adults and children on a daily basis. While many people may think I only check hearing in elderly folks, I also work with children and adults who have balance and hearing issues from brain injuries or developmental challenges. The most incredible part of my job is seeing people’s faces light up when they can hear again; especially children who have cochlear implants."

Salary Range:

$100,381

The Tip

The brain is fascinating and important—take care of yours!

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Decision Making
  • Select appropriate interventions based on research and best practices in the science of hearing and balance

  • Provide appropriate resources for people with hearing impairments so they can make the best choices for hearing assistance

  • Provide sound assessment and interventions for all ages of people


Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Critically analyze literature and keep up with the technological advances in auditory and vestibular science

  • Synthesize key themes from multiple scientific sources about how the auditory system works
     

Knowledge of Human Behaviour
  • Able to relate to a wide range of individuals

  • Support clients to explore motivations, behaviour, emotions, thoughts and patterns

  • Guide exploration of difficult topics

  • Support growth and development

Sensitivity to how behaviours are shaped by circumstances, privilege, experience & attitudes

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Sensitivity to how communication is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Discuss difficult-to-understand scientific concepts with people who know very little about how the auditory system works

 
Inter-personal Skills
  • Work with diverse populations

  • Support individuals to discuss the topic of hearing loss—this is often very difficult for people—especially seniors and parents of children who have hearing impairments

  • Empathetic
     

Intra-personal Skills
  • Remain calm in the face of client distress

  • Remain focused on clients and their needs even when distracted by personal life events

 

Additional Skills
  • Strong organizational skills

  • Intentional curiosity and thoughtful creativity

  • Fundamental business acumen

Self-motivated, independent, ethical

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Science (Biology) with a minor in business administration. I knew I wanted to be an independent business owner once my training was complete.

  • Master of Audiology, including 350 hours of clinical practicum

  • Attend conferences, workshops and training seminars each year to improve skills and enhance knowledge

 

I became interested in audiology when my brain and behaviour professor mentioned it in class. We were learning about how the ear and vestibular systems worked and I found it fascinating. I met with my prof after class and she suggested I check out the Speech-Language and Audiology Canada website—the best decision I ever made!

 

Employment Experiences:
  • I was a dancer all through elementary and high school. After high school I became a certified yoga instructor and taught classes throughout my undergraduate degree.

  • I worked with a developmental psychologist studying bilingualism in children, which taught me a great deal about how important hearing is for language development

  • Practicum experiences during my master’s included work experience in clinics, hospitals, a university counselling centre and a family counselling practice doing hearing testing

  • Worked with a national hearing testing company to gain experience. After working with them for six years I felt ready to start my own company. I have never regretted being an independent entrepreneur.

 

As a yoga instructor I learned to work with people and develop my intra- and inter-personal skills. Yoga classes are all about quiet and calm. Today I run my audiology practice using the same principles I learned as a yoga instructor.

My experiences in school at the undergraduate and graduate levels gave me the needed knowledge to go and work.

Community Experiences:
  • Worked with a nonprofit agency as a graduate student doing free hearing testing for underprivileged kids in an after-school music and dance program. I tested for sensitivity to sounds and hearing processing disorders. Being able to hear well is important for kids’ development.

  • As a graduate student I had an opportunity to work with a team of researchers who were testing hearing impairments in children in large cities in developing countries. Many of these children spent their time with parents in a noisy work environment without hearing protection.

 

Some of the best training I ever received was through these volunteer experiences. Working overseas made it clear to me how lucky we are to have access to the medical assistance and support we have in North America. The biggest satisfaction from my overseas work with professors was knowing that our work was making a difference. Many of the factories we visited implemented hearing protection initiatives for their employees and their children.

Contextual Experiences:
  • I can play flute, violin and piano

  • Moving to a new university to do my master’s degree in audiology was life-expanding. Different schools have different strengths, areas of focus and supports. Moving to another city also expanded my understanding of the cultural differences that exist across our country.

 

I think growing up in a musical family that appreciated the fine arts of music and dance was an important part of my desire to become an audiologist. Being in a family that loved music and played many instruments gave me an incredible appreciation for our sense of hearing. Without it music would not be the amazing emotional experience it is.

Relationships:
  • My granddad had been a high school band teacher his whole life and by the time he retired his hearing was dramatically impaired—he was always preaching to our family that taking care of your hearing was as important as taking care of your eyes.

  • My master’s supervisor was a very exacting man and had high expectations of his graduate students. I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from him on how important precision is when testing hearing.

 

I watched my granddad lose his hearing. Seeing how that changed his appreciation of music—it was never the same after he lost his hearing—was a driving force behind my ultimate career choice.