Audiologist qualifications - accreditation / certification?

I’m wondering if anyone can shed some light on the various certifications I’ve seen audiologists have.


I even spoke with one Audi that had “Ph.D (Psy), CCC-A” after her name. I didn’t even thing to ask at the time, but does this mean she has a PhD in some other field?

I’m new to this whole process and I’m trying to select the most qualified of the choices presented to me.

I’d presume that Ph.D (Psy) is a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology.

AuD - Doctor of Audiology
PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
MA - Master of Arts
MS- Master of Science
CCC-A - Certificate of Clinical Competence (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification)

Hi jay_man2

That helps understand what the acronyms stand for, but what do each of those certs really offer? Do I care that my provider has a PhD in Psychology? Depending on the specific degree, an MA and an MS are likely the same level of degree (a Masters), and obviously, an AuD is a PhD level degree. Is the CCC-A a certification that achieved after the primary college degree? Could someone with a Bachelors, Masters or PhD all be able to acquire the CCC-A certification? Thanks for helping unravel this for us uninformed folks.


Excellent question Dag. Some of the experts can weigh in; I just tried to move the conversation along by offering up the words behind the acronyms.

And none of these designations tell us if someone can make a proper earmold impression the first time out, or use whatever fitting software they use properly.

I also know that my audiologist got her Au.D. sometime in the last 6 years, purely because another Au.D. had joined the practice. She already did a fine job doing what she does that I could tell, so other than me wondering if I could still call her by her first name, or should use Dr. <lastname> I saw no difference. :stuck_out_tongue:

One more: FAAA

This looks the stand for Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. What does it take to become an FAAA? Not to be confused with FAA. :slight_smile:


I went google’ing and I think I found my answer.

The AuD is a new degree for audiologists – the audiologists call it the “Doctor of Audiology” degree.


The “AuD” degree is obtained by going to audiology school (after a bachelors degree) for 3-4 years. There are two-three years of didactic training (i.e. what formerly was called a masters degree), followed by one year of supervised experience (i.e. what we would usually call a “fellowship” in medicine). The 3-year programs (there are a few of these) are a “repackaging” of a previous training process that included a 2 year masters degree followed by a 9 month “clinical fellowship experience or year”, or CFE or CFY.


AuDs do the same thing as non-AuD audiologists. They test patients with hearing or balance disorders, and they sell hearing aids and support hearing aid users.

AuDs have 4-5 years less education than Ph.D. Audiologists. Ph.D. Audiologists are generally persons who obtained the (previous) masters level audiology degree, followed by a standard 4-year or so, Ph.D training in a topic related to hearing. Ph.D. audiologists generally have done significant amounts of research. Ph.D. audiologists have gone to school for roughly the same amount of time as most medical doctors, but their additional education/training is usually in hearing basic science rather than clinically oriented.


AuD’s that call themselves doctors can also be confused with Ph.D. audiologists.

By the way (in case you didn’t pick up on it), this Dr. Hain isn’t too keen on an Au.D. being referred to as a doctor…

One should use the term Doctor with caution…

When I think about Dr in the medical term I think of an MD,

I have know a few PHD which do not like people to call them Doctors… (they

do research in fact, they are not interested in selling hearing aids…)

Hi csb001 and jay_man2

This answers many of my questions. From my reading, here is the hierarchy of the discipline (at least as I understand it):

ENT: This is an MD that specializes in diagnosing and treating medical problems (pathology) that involve the Ear, Nose and Throat.

AuD: Doctor of Audiology. These are very highly trained medical professionals, who have somewhat less training than an MD. They specialize in testing and evaluating a patient’s hearing, and recommending and dispensing hearing aids.

HIS: Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS). This is a state licensed professional with education and experience (less education than an AuD) in recommending and dispensing hearing aids. An HIS performs many of the same tasks as an AuD.

The CCC-A (Certificate of Clinical Competence - Audiology) and FAAA (Fellow of American Academy of Audiology) are professional certifications received after the basic degree process is completed, and demonstrate additional training and experience.

To our hearing professionals, please let me know if I’ve gotten any of this wrong. Thanks!


And I thought PhD just meant “piled higher & deeper”:smiley:

Hi hhuck

Sometimes pronounced “Fud”. :cool:


Like many healthcare professionals (especially nurses), audiologists may have a variety of acronyms following their names. As was previously mentioned, MA, MS, and MCD are all master’s degrees. When CCC-A follows the name, you know the person has their Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Although this is not synonymous with state licensure, for most purposes it can be thought of as this. The FAAA means Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Both of these acronyms DO NOT signify anything beyond entry-level certification. A little known certification that is a bit more advanced is ABA certification. That is, American Board of Audiology certification which is offered through the American Academy of Audiology. This is not very popular though so you may not run across it. My personal bias would be to rate the level of education for your hearing healthcare practitioners in the following order from highest to lowest

PhD or ScD - Doctor of Philolosphy or Doctor of Science
AuD - Doctor of Audiology
MA/MS/MCD - Master of Arts or Master of Science or Master of Communciation Disorders

AuDs may argue that they should be at the top but this is simply untrue no matter how you look at it. Of course, there are PhDs who do not work clinically but the skills that a clinical PhD learns (evaluating evidence for clinical implementation) are not typically acquired in an AuD program. This would be like saying that a PsyD would be a better clinician that a PhD psychologist because the PsyD is a clinical degree. Of course, there will be variability from practitioner to practitioner but I stand by my opinion that a PhD audiologist (or master’s level audiologist with PhD in experimental psych) has the potential to be a better clinician than an AuD