Question about degree qualifications and certifications for audiologists

Can someone explain to me the difference between someone that is a Au.D., CCC-A versus someone that is a M.S., CCC-A. Does one go through more training and schooling than the other? Would they both offer the same expertise, knowledge, and care for someone looking to buy and get new hearing aids fitted?

As far as I know, audiology used to be a masters program in America and now is a doctoral program. I don’t think one can get a masters in audiology in America anymore. Regardless, they should be pretty close. The one with the masters is probably older (given they came through the old system) with more practical experience, the one with the doctoral degree is maybe more up to date on preferred practice. But could go either way.

I’m not American though, this could be a bad guess.

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@Neville my Audi at the VA is a Dr. of Audiology, and the ones at the clinic that go by Hearing aid specilist all have Masters of Audiology. At least at the VA Clinics I have been to this is true.

Oy. That’s a lot of education to only get ‘Hearing Instrument Specialist’.

I thought so too. I have only dealt with three private Audis. One did my first hearing test that started my journey with getting aids. One that fitted my first attempt at hearing aids, and one that tried her best to make those first aids work for me. I feel so fortunate to be in the VA system, my current Audi has worked his rear off the get my aids working so good for me.

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I’m not an audiologist, but, far as I know in the United States, doctorate-level education typically requires 4 years of education beyond a Bachelor’s degree. Masters-level education is usually 1-2 years of education beyond a Bachelor’s degree. In terms of Audiology, both degrees would both require a clinical training component as part of the educational program.

Like many other clinical professions, the powers that be now require that Audiology programs grant degrees at the Doctoral level, and I believe those who have Masters degrees have been “grandfathered” in under the new terms.

As for the CCC-A credential, I believe this shows that the audiologist has chosen to take a voluntary test to certify knowledge and skills (above and beyond the licensure exam) after having achieved “X” number of hours of clinical practice, much like a registered nurse might do to “certify” in her/his chosen specialty of practice. For instance, some nurses are CCRNs, meaning they are “certified in critical care,” in addition to their professional credentials of RN, BSN, MSN, DNP, etc. Certification also signifies a commitment to continuing education on the part of the professional, because he/she has to maintain a set number of continuing education hours yearly and to re-certify at regular intervals (just like many physicians and other healthcare workers do). Here’s a link to learn more about the CCC-A credential for audiologists.

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

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I personally think the audiology community shot themselves in the foot when the AuD was made mandatory. Four more years of school and a whole bunch of extra money to do basically the same thing audiologists had been doing. The extra time and expense has deterred many new folks from entering the field. As older audiologists retire, there are not enough younger ones to take their place. On top of that, there is a fear that the OTC hearing aids will put them out of business anyway (which I think is not true). Today there are over 466 million people world wide with hearing loss, by 2050 there will be over 900 million. For some the OTC will be fine first step, but many will need the true professional services. My fear is that there will not be enough professionals to take of the needs. Many of the AuDs may refute this opinion but it is what I feel and have seen over the past 44 years in the industry.

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