Career and Education Opportunities for Audiologists in Birmingham, Alabama
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for audiologists in the Birmingham, Alabama area. Currently, 180 people work as audiologists in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 9% to about 200 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for audiologists, which sees this job pool growing by about 25.0% over the next eight years. Audiologists generally assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders.
Audiologists earn approximately $25 per hour or $52,570 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $29 hourly or $62,030 annually. Incomes for audiologists are better than in the overall category of Audiology in Alabama, and better than the overall Audiology category nationally. People working as audiologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: pediatric audiologist, hearing therapist, and occupational audiologist.
The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as an audiologist. The most common level of education for audiologists is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be an audiologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Audiologist
In general, audiologists assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. They also may fit hearing aids and provide auditory training.
Audiologists administer hearing or speech/language evaluations or examinations to patients to collect data on type and degree of impairment, using specialized instruments and electronic apparatus. They also evaluate hearing and speech/language disorders to establish diagnoses and courses of treatment. Equally important, audiologists have to refer clients to additional medical or educational services if needed. They are often called upon to recommend assistive devices in line with clients' needs or nature of impairments. They are expected to maintain client records at all stages, including initial evaluation and discharge. Finally, audiologists formulate and conduct treatment programs for clients' hearing or speech problems, consulting with physicians and other health care personnel as needed.
Every day, audiologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.
It is important for audiologists to examine and clean patients' ear canals. They are often called upon to monitor clients' progress and discharge them from treatment when goals have been attained. They also participate in conferences or training to update or share knowledge of new hearing or speech disorder treatment methods or technologies. They are sometimes expected to educate and supervise audiology students and health care personnel. Somewhat less frequently, audiologists are also expected to maintain client records at all stages, including initial evaluation and discharge.
They also have to be able to measure noise levels in workplaces and conduct hearing protection programs in industry and communities And finally, they sometimes have to fit and dispense assistive devices.
Like many other jobs, audiologists must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:
- Occupational Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
- Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
- Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Audiologist Training
University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL
University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Audiology/Audiologist and Hearing Sciences which graduated three students in 2008.
Licensing agency: AL Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
Address: P O Box 304760, Montgomery, AL 36130-4760
Phone: (334) 269-1434
Website: AL Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.