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Top 11 Audiologist Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most sought-after audiologist certifications and their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for audiologists in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge. Certifications indicate that an audiologist has achieved a certain level of education or training, and this can be valuable when looking for employment or advancing in the field. Certification also provides assurance to employers that an audiologist is qualified to provide quality services to their patients. Further, many employers prefer hiring certified audiologists as they have demonstrated the necessary skills and experience to handle clinical tasks effectively.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the various certifications available for Audiologists and how they can benefit a professional's career.

What are Audiologist Certifications?

Audiologist certification is the process of becoming certified as a professional audiologist. Audiology is a healthcare profession that specializes in identifying, assessing, diagnosing, and treating hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders. To become certified as an audiologist, individuals must complete specific educational requirements and pass a rigorous national examination.

Audiologist certification can help individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in audiology gain recognition for their knowledge and skills in the field. It also allows them to demonstrate their ability to provide quality services to patients with hearing impairments or balance disorders. Additionally, audiologists who are certified may be eligible for higher salaries or additional job opportunities within their field. Finally, certification can provide peace of mind to both audiologists and their patients that they have met the highest standards for professional practice.

Pro Tip: When selecting an audiologist for certification, make sure that the professional is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and has completed a doctoral degree in audiology. Also, inquire about their experience in providing services to patients with hearing loss to ensure they have the necessary qualifications and expertise.

Related: What does an Audiologist do?

Top 11 Audiologist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Audiologists today.

1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) is a professional certification that recognizes audiologists who have met the highest standards of clinical practice. It is the gold standard for audiologists, and it demonstrates to employers, peers, and patients that an individual has achieved a certain level of excellence in their field.

In order to obtain the CCC-A credential, an audiologist must meet specific educational, clinical experience, and examination requirements. The educational requirement includes earning a doctoral degree from an accredited program in audiology or a related field. The clinical experience requirement includes completing at least 36 weeks of supervised clinical experience under the supervision of an ASHA certified audiologist. Finally, the examination requirement includes passing both a written and oral exam administered by ASHA.

It typically takes 3-4 years to complete all the requirements for the CCC-A credential. After completing all of the necessary requirements, applicants must submit an application packet to ASHA which includes proof of education and clinical experience as well as payment of a fee. The fee for applying for the CCC-A credential is $425 USD as of 2021.

Once all requirements are met and approved by ASHA, applicants will receive their CCC-A certificate which can be used to demonstrate expertise in audiology to employers and patients alike.

2. American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Board Certification in Audiology

The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Board Certification in Audiology is a voluntary credentialing program that recognizes audiologists who have achieved a high level of professional expertise. The certification process is designed to assess the knowledge and skills necessary for competent practice as an audiologist. It also serves to promote quality patient care through the promotion of continuing education and professional development.

To become board certified, an audiologist must meet certain educational and clinical requirements, pass a comprehensive written examination, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to professional development. The certification process typically takes two years to complete and includes completion of the required coursework, supervised clinical experience, and successful completion of the written exam.

In order to be eligible for board certification, applicants must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in audiology from an accredited university program; have completed at least 400 hours of supervised clinical experience; have completed at least 20 hours of continuing education credits in audiology within the past two years; and have passed the comprehensive written examination administered by AAA.

The cost for board certification varies depending on which components are included in the application package. The cost can range from $400-$600 for all components including application fee, exam fee, and processing fees.

3. American Board of Audiology (ABA) Diplomate in Audiology

The American Board of Audiology (ABA) Diplomate in Audiology is a voluntary certification program for audiologists. The ABA Diplomate in Audiology is the highest level of professional recognition available to audiologists in the United States. It recognizes audiologists who have achieved advanced competency and experience in clinical practice, research, and/or teaching.

To become an ABA Diplomate in Audiology, an audiologist must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass a written examination. The eligibility requirements include: holding a doctoral degree from an accredited university; completion of at least two years of post-doctoral clinical experience; and possession of a current license to practice audiology.

It typically takes two years or more to complete the process of becoming an ABA Diplomate in Audiology. During this time, the applicant must complete all required coursework, obtain clinical experience, and pass the written examination.

In order to become an ABA Diplomate in Audiology, applicants must first apply to take the written examination by submitting a completed application form along with supporting documentation such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. After submitting their application materials, applicants will receive information about registering for the exam and instructions on how to prepare for it.

The cost for taking the ABA Diplomate in Audiology exam is $1,000 plus any applicable taxes or fees. This fee covers all aspects of the exam including registration fees, test materials, and administration costs.

4. National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS)

The National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) is a voluntary certification program that provides recognition to hearing instrument specialists who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in the field. The NBC-HIS certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of competency beyond entry-level practice.

In order to receive the NBC-HIS certification, applicants must first meet the eligibility requirements, which include having at least two years of full-time experience as a hearing instrument specialist or equivalent, completing an approved training program, and passing an examination. Once these requirements are met, candidates must submit an application to the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences.

The NBC-HIS examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as anatomy and physiology of the ear, hearing aid technology, patient counseling and communication strategies, and troubleshooting techniques.

The cost of taking the NBC-HIS examination is $200 USD. After successfully passing the exam, there is an annual fee of $100 USD for maintaining certification status.

5. International Hearing Society (IHS) Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (CHIS)

International Hearing Society (IHS) Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (CHIS) is a professional certification that demonstrates a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of hearing instrument science. The CHIS designation is awarded by the IHS to qualified professionals who have completed an approved course of study, passed a comprehensive exam, and demonstrated proficiency in the use of hearing instruments.

The IHS CHIS program requires completion of a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in the field of hearing instrument science. This includes topics such as anatomy and physiology, acoustics, audiology, patient counseling, digital signal processing, and more. After completing the required coursework, applicants must pass an examination administered by the IHS to earn their certification.

The cost for taking the CHIS exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$400 to take the exam.

To become certified as an IHS CHIS, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements outlined by the IHS including having at least two years’ experience working with hearing instruments or completing an approved apprenticeship program. Once these requirements are met, applicants can apply for certification through their local chapter or online via the IHS website.

In total, it typically takes around 6 months to complete all requirements necessary to become an IHS Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (CHIS).

6. American Tinnitus Association (ATA) Certified Tinnitus Practitioner

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) Certified Tinnitus Practitioner (CTP) program is a professional certification program for healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus. The CTP designation recognizes practitioners who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of tinnitus management and have completed an advanced training program.

The CTP program requires completion of a 40-hour online course, which covers topics such as tinnitus assessment, diagnosis, and treatment; counseling techniques; psychoacoustics; and patient education. Upon successful completion of the course, applicants must pass a comprehensive exam to receive their CTP certification.

The cost of the CTP program varies depending on whether you are an ATA member or not. For non-members, the cost is $750 for the online course and $200 for the exam fee. For ATA members, there is a discounted rate of $500 for the online course and $100 for the exam fee.

It typically takes about two months to complete all requirements for becoming an ATA Certified Tinnitus Practitioner.

7. Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) Doctor of Audiology Degree

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) Doctor of Audiology Degree is a professional doctoral degree program designed to prepare students for advanced practice in audiology. It is the highest level of professional education available in the field and requires an extensive commitment of time, energy, and resources. The program typically takes four years to complete and includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, audiological assessment, diagnosis and treatment, research methods, counseling, management, and ethics.

In order to be eligible for admission into the ADA Doctor of Audiology Degree program, applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree with a major in communication sciences or related field with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also have completed prerequisite courses such as physics, mathematics, statistics, biology/zoology/physiology/anatomy/biochemistry/chemistry/organic chemistry/neuroscience/psychology. In addition to academic requirements, applicants must also submit letters of recommendation from two professionals in the field as well as provide evidence of clinical experience.

The cost for the ADA Doctor of Audiology Degree program varies depending on the institution offering it. Generally speaking tuition costs range from $30-50k per year plus fees associated with books and materials. Financial aid may be available through grants or scholarships depending on the school offering the program.

The ADA Doctor of Audiology Degree is an intensive and demanding program that requires dedication and commitment from students who wish to pursue a career in audiological care. Upon completion of this degree program graduates are eligible to take board certification exams administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This certification allows graduates to become licensed audiologists in their state or country where applicable.

8. American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Certificate of Clinical Competence in Occupational Therapy/Audiologist

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Certificate of Clinical Competence in Occupational Therapy/Audiologist (CCC-OT/A) is a professional credential that recognizes the highest level of clinical competence and professional achievement in occupational therapy and audiology. The CCC-OT/A is awarded to individuals who have met the highest standards of practice, including completion of a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited program, successful completion of a national board examination, and at least 24 months of supervised experience.

It typically takes two to three years to obtain the CCC-OT/A credential. To get the CCC-OT/A, applicants must first complete an accredited occupational therapy or audiology program at either the master’s or doctoral level. They must then pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Finally, they must complete 24 months of supervised experience in their field.

The cost for obtaining the CCC-OT/A credential varies depending on each individual’s situation. Costs can include tuition for an accredited program, fees for taking the NBCOT exam, and any additional costs associated with completing 24 months of supervised experience.

9. Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)-Accredited Doctoral Program

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit doctoral programs in audiology and speech-language pathology. The CAA sets standards for doctoral programs in audiology and speech-language pathology that are designed to ensure quality education and training for students seeking entry into the professions.

It typically takes four years to complete a CAA-accredited doctoral program in audiology or speech-language pathology. During this time, students must complete coursework, clinical practicum experiences, research projects, and other requirements as outlined by the CAA.

To get a CAA-accredited doctoral program, applicants must meet specific academic requirements set forth by the CAA, including having an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher; passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); completing prerequisite courses; and obtaining letters of recommendation from faculty members who have taught them at their undergraduate institution.

The cost of attending a CAA-accredited doctoral program varies depending on the school attended, but tuition can range from $20,000 to $50,000 per year for out-of-state students and up to $100,000 for international students. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking classes or participating in clinical practicums that can add up quickly.

10. American Board of Professional Neuropsychology, Inc., Certified Neuropsychologist/Audiologist

The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology, Inc., Certified Neuropsychologist/Audiologist (ABPN-CN/A) is a professional certification for neuropsychologists and audiologists. It is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides a voluntary credentialing process to recognize the highest standards of practice in these fields. The ABPN-CN/A certification is designed to demonstrate knowledge and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, as well as an understanding of the latest research in neuroscience.

To be eligible for the ABPN-CN/A certification, applicants must have completed a doctoral degree in psychology or audiology from an accredited program and have at least two years of supervised clinical experience in neuropsychology or audiology. Applicants must also pass a written examination that covers topics such as cognitive assessment, psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy, and ethical considerations.

It typically takes approximately six months to prepare for the exam and complete all application requirements. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on whether you are a first-time applicant or are reapplying after failing to pass it previously. For first-time applicants, the exam fee is $800; for those who are reapplying after failing to pass it previously, the fee is $400. Additionally, there is an annual maintenance fee of $150 due each year after you become certified.

11. International Society for Technology Assessment in Healthcare, Inc., Certified Audiologist

The International Society for Technology Assessment in Healthcare, Inc., Certified Audiologist (ISTAHC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize audiologists who have demonstrated expertise in the use of technology to assess and manage hearing and balance disorders. ISTAHC certification is an independent, third-party assessment of an audiologist’s knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the application of technology in the practice of audiology.

In order to be eligible for ISTAHC certification, applicants must have a minimum of two years of clinical experience as a practicing audiologist. Additionally, applicants must successfully complete a comprehensive written examination that covers topics related to the use of technology in audiology, including hearing aid fitting software, diagnostic equipment and protocols, vestibular assessment methods and technologies, cochlear implant programming software, and more.

It typically takes approximately 6-8 weeks from the time all required materials are received by ISTAHC until you receive your results. The cost for taking the ISTAHC exam is $400 USD.

Do You Really Need a Audiologist Certificate?

Yes, if you are looking to become an audiologist, you absolutely need an audiologist certificate. Audiologists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat hearing loss, balance disorders, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and other ear-related conditions. In order to practice as an audiologist, you must obtain a license from your state's licensing board. This requires that you first earn a master's degree in audiology or a doctoral degree in audiology from an accredited university program. The degree programs typically take two and four years respectively to complete.

Once you have completed your degree program, it is time to obtain your certification as an audiologist. To do this, you must pass the Audiology National Examination administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This exam tests your knowledge of hearing and balance science; audiologic evaluation; diagnosis and management of hearing and balance disorders; counseling; amplification systems; research design; evidence-based practice; professional standards and ethics; and more. Passing this exam will allow you to be certified as an audiologist by ASHA.

Once you have obtained certification from ASHA, it is important for you to maintain that certification by completing continuing education courses each year. Additionally, if you move states or wish to work in a different field within the profession of audiology, then additional certifications may be required depending on the regulations set forth by each state's licensing board.

In conclusion, obtaining an audiologist certificate is essential if one wishes to practice as an audiologist. Earning the necessary degrees and passing the required exams can be challenging but are necessary steps for aspiring audiologists who wish to provide quality care for their patients.

Related: Audiologist Resume Examples

FAQs About Audiologist Certifications

1. What certifications do audiologists need?

Answer: Audiologists must be licensed in the state where they practice, and may also be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). To become certified, audiologists must pass a national examination administered by ASHA and complete continuing education requirements.

2. How long does it take to become an audiologist?

Answer: The length of time it takes to become an audiologist varies depending on the individual's educational background and experience. Generally, it takes approximately seven years of postsecondary education and clinical training to become a certified audiologist.

3. What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing aid specialist?

Answer: Audiologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating hearing problems in people of all ages. Hearing aid specialists are trained to fit and dispense hearing aids but do not have the same level of clinical training as audiologists.

4. How often do audiologists need to renew their certification?

Answer: Audiologists must renew their certification every three years by completing continuing education courses approved by ASHA or specific state requirements for licensure renewal.

5. Are there any additional certifications audiologists can pursue?

Answer: Yes, audiologists can pursue additional specialty certifications such as pediatric audiology, cochlear implantation/implantable technology, balance disorders/vestibular rehabilitation, tinnitus management, or auditory processing disorders through ASHA’s Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP).