An Audiologist is a healthcare professional that assesses, treats, and (re)habilitates hearing, balance, and other related disorders for patients of all ages. They provide patient-centered care to prevent, identify, diagnose, and provide evidence-based treatment. Audiologists promote healthy hearing and communication to improve outcomes and the quality of life for each unique patient. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) states within the scope of practice that Audiologists are to have the knowledge of existing and emerging technologies for treatment as well as the interpersonal skills to counsel patients and families through the rehabilitative process. Audiologists are employed in various settings such as: public/private school systems, private practices, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, colleges/universities, residential healthcare facilities, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, and research facilities.
A Speech-Language Pathologist is a healthcare professional who helps patients with communication problems and/or disorders such as speech production, fluency, language, cognition, articulation, voice, resonance, swallowing, and hearing. SLPs work directly with patients who have experienced strokes, seizures, brain trauma, or any other underlying trauma to aid in regaining lost language and speech. They engage in research to enhance knowledge about human communication disorders and counsel individuals and families on coping strategies as well as provide education on speech and language disorders. SLPs are employed in various settings such as: public/private school systems, private practices, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, colleges/universities, residential healthcare facilities, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, research facilities, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and adult day care centers.
Job market information and statistics about Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists can be found through the Department of Labor. According to this department, the employment opportunity for both Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologist is excellent. Both occupations are predicted to be one of the fastest growing occupations. From 2014 to 2024, the projected growth for Speech-Language Pathologists is 29% and 21% for Audiologists. Speech-Language Pathologists held about 135,400 jobs in 2014.