May 28, 2016 by
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Neil DiSarno always knew he wanted to make a career out of helping people. But he didn’t know just how he wanted to help people. In college, he took a class on communication disorders and then shadowed an audiologist at the workplace. What he saw hooked him. “Patients were generally very grateful,” DiSarno says. “I liked that you got to work with all ages – newborns to nursing homes. I liked the technology. I liked the machinery. It was a match for me.”
These days, DiSarno is the chief staff officer for audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Before that, he worked for several decades testing patients’ hearing and balance and treating them for hearing disorders. His career in clinical practice and teaching has taken him to Alaska, New Zealand, New York, Florida and Missouri – and just outside of the District of Columbia, where he is now.
The job of an audiologist not only requires assessment of hearing or balance with tools like audiometers, but it also includes treatment, which may mean different relief procedures for vertigo or fitting hearing aids for hearing impairments. Audiologists also counsel a patient’s family or community on how to best serve a patient with hearing impairments or balance issues.
The BLS expects this profession to grow at a rate of 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, resulting in 3,800 new jobs. Because the incidences of hearing loss increase with age, the BLS expects audiologists to be more and more in need as the baby boomers age. Newborns with hearing issues are also expected to drive job growth because hearing disorders can be detected and diagnosed early.
$73,060 Median Salary
2.1% Unemployment Rate
3,800 Number of Jobs