Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

What do Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists do?

Audiologists examine, test, evaluate and treat those with hearing disorders. Speech-language pathologists perform the same work for those with speech, language, voice, fluency or swallowing disorders. Both may work in private practice, schools, industry, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, schools for the handicapped, nursing homes, colleges and universities, research laboratories, and government agencies.

What might an Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist do in a workday?


  • determine the range, nature and degree of hearing function and conduct physiological measurements.
  • assist physicians in diagnosing an organic basis for a hearing disability.
  • plan and conduct rehabilitation programs (e.g. counseling, auditory training and speech reading).
  • conduct research in auditory systems.
  • consult with educational, medical and other professional groups.
  • fit patients with hearing aids and make recommendations and orient patients in their use.

Speech-language pathologists:

  • identify speech and language disorders and seek to identify their causes.
  • plan and conduct therapy for impairments such as aphasia and stuttering.
  • counsel patients and families.
  • consult with physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, social workers and teachers.
  • conduct research related to speech and hearing processes and disorders.
  • treat individuals with swallowing and other upper-digestive disorders.
  • provide accent reduction and voice improvement instruction.

How much salary do Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists make?

Annual Mean Wage
$81,710 (audiologists)
$83,430 (speech/language pathologists)

Salaries depend on educational background, experience, work setting and geographical location.

How do I become an Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist?

Students interested in these careers should take high school courses that cover a broad spectrum, including health, social, physical and biological sciences; English/language arts; mathematics; the humanities (a foreign language); and technology (computer science). Students must complete an accredited program in audiology or speech-language pathology.

To become a certified audiologist or speech/language pathologist, one must complete either a master’s or doctoral degree, successfully complete the required clinical experience and pass a national exam. Audiologists complete the required clinical experience during their academic program study while speech/language pathologists complete a supervised clinical fellowship after obtaining their master’s degree. There are separate licenses for audiologists and speech/language pathologists in Virginia.

Where else can I learn about becoming an Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist?

Professional Associations:

Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia
3126 W. Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221-3504

(888) 729-7428

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850-3289

(301) 296-5700

State License Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

A license is required to practice as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit www.dhp.virginia.gov/aud.

Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233

Phone: (804) 367-4630
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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