Audiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Speech-language pathologists diagnose, assess and treat human communication disorders including speech, fluency, language, voice and swallowing disorders. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are employed in hospitals, community and public health centres, extended care facilities, day clinics, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions, or may work in private practice. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.

Profile

Example titles

  • Audiologist
  • Audiology clinician
  • Certified audiologist
  • Clinical audiologist
  • Educational speech-language pathologist
  • Research audiologist
  • Speech therapist
  • Speech-language clinician

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

Audiologists
  • Develop and administer audiometric tests and examinations using specialized instruments and electronic equipment to diagnose and evaluate the degree and type of patients’ hearing impairment
  • Plan and implement habilitation/rehabilitation programs for patients, including selection, fitting and adjustment of amplification devices, such as hearing aids, balance retraining exercises and teaching speech (lip) reading
  • Educate and counsel patients and families regarding the nature, extent, impact and implications of hearing loss and treatment
  • Establish personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Conduct research related to hearing and hearing disorders
  • May instruct and supervise audiometric technicians, students and other health care personnel.

Speech-language pathologists

  • Administer tests and examinations and observe patients to diagnose and evaluate speech, voice, resonance, language, fluency, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
  • Develop, plan and implement remedial programs to correct speech, voice, language, fluency, resonance, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
  • Establish group and personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Educate and counsel patients and families regarding communication and swallowing disorders
  • Conduct research on speech and other communication disorders and on the development and design of diagnostic procedures and devices
  • May instruct and supervise communicative disorders assistants, students and other health care personnel.

Employment requirements

  • Audiologists require a master’s degree in audiology.
  • Speech-language pathologists require a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Membership in the national association, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, is usually required.
  • In some jurisdictions, audiologists may be required to obtain a separate licence to dispense hearing aids.

Additional information

  • Progression into management positions, such as chief audiologist or director of speech-language pathology, is possible with experience.

Exclusions

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