I am trying to change careers at the age of 54. I like helping people, and have an extensive customer service background. I am wondering how to become a hearing instrument specialist or hearing aid dispenser. I live in central Florida. My main concern is how to find a sponsor. Is working as a trainee a paid position? Is it difficult to find a sponsor? Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
A training program shall be a minimum of six months in length and shall be divided into four stages. Following the completion of Stage I, the trainee shall be in training for the dispensing of hearing aids for a minimum of twenty (20) hours each week totaling 480 hours during the six month training period, and shall be under the direct supervision of the sponsor at all times when performing the functions of a hearing aid specialist.
Stage I: During this Stage, the trainee shall complete the International Hearing Society Distance Learning Course and shall submit proof of passing the distance learning course final examination to the Board Office before entering Stage II of the Training Program.
Stage II – 1 month: During this Stage, the trainee may perform audiometric tests, and make ear mold impressions and modifications, but the sponsor or hearing aid specialist designated by the sponsor shall be physically present, in the same room at all times when the trainee is performing these functions. The trainee may not recommend the selection of a hearing aid, dispense a hearing aid, or counsel a client.
Stage III – 2 months: During this Stage the trainee may perform all tasks in Stage II, recommend the selection of a hearing aid, and counsel a client, but the trainee shall be under the direct supervision of the sponsor or hearing aid specialist designated by the sponsor. The trainee may not deliver a hearing aid.
Stage IV – 3 months: During this Stage the trainee may perform all the tasks in Stages II and III and deliver hearing aids, but the sponsor or hearing aid specialist designated by the sponsor shall be physically present in the same room at the time a hearing aid is delivered to the client, and the receipt required by Section 484.051, F.S., must have the signature and license number of the sponsor or hearing aid specialist designated by the sponsor.
Requirements to qualify as the sponsor of a trainee:
The prospective sponsor must have possessed an active license and have been actively practicing for at least two (2) consecutive years immediately prior to sponsorship, and must be Board certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. (NBCHIS), except that audiologists who are also licensed hearing aid specialists licensed under Chapter 484, Part II, F.S., are not required to be NBCHIS certified.
The prospective sponsor must not have been disciplined during the past four (4) years, unless the discipline is for a minor violation under Rule 64B6-7.006, F.A.C., a citation, or a letter of concern, and all terms of any final order are satisfied; and
A sponsor may not sponsor more than three (3) trainees at any one time.
These are the state of florida requirements to become a HIS
can u give an update on how you did? i am considering, im in florida ?