3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists

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Lead statement

Audiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Speech-language pathologists diagnose, assess and treat human communication disorders including speech, fluency, language, voice and swallowing disorders. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are employed in hospitals, community and public health centres, extended care facilities, day clinics, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions, or may work in private practice. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.

Example Titles

  • audiologist
  • certified audiologist
  • clinical audiologist
  • educational speech-language pathologist
  • research audiologist
  • speech-language clinician
  • speech therapist

Main duties

  • Audiologists perform some or all of the following duties:
    • Develop and administer audiometric tests and examinations using specialized instruments and electronic equipment to diagnose and evaluate the degree and type of patients' hearing impairment
    • Plan and implement habilitation/rehabilitation programs for patients, including selection, fitting and adjustment of amplification devices, such as hearing aids, and teaching speech (lip) reading
    • Provide information to patients and families regarding the nature, extent, impact and implications of hearing loss and treatment
    • Establish personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
    • Conduct research related to hearing and hearing disorders
    • May instruct and supervise audiometric technicians, students and other health care personnel.
  • Speech-language pathologists perform some or all of the following duties:
    • Administer tests and examinations and observe patients to diagnose and evaluate speech, voice, resonance, language, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
    • Develop, plan and implement remedial programs to correct speech, voice, language, resonance, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders
    • Establish group and personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team
    • Provide advice and educational services to patients and families regarding communication and swallowing disorders
    • Conduct research on speech and other communication disorders and on the development and design of diagnostic procedures and devices
    • May instruct and supervise communicative disorders assistants, students and other health care personnel.

Employment requirements

  • Audiologists require a master's degree in audiology.
  • Speech-language pathologists require a master's degree in speech-language pathology.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for audiologists and speech-language pathologists in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Membership in the national association, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, is usually required.
  • In some jurisdictions, audiologists may be required to obtain a separate licence to dispense hearing aids.

Additional information

  • Progression into management positions, such as chief audiologist or director of speech-language pathology, is possible with experience.

Exclusions

  • Audiology and speech-language technical and assisting occupations (in 32373237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment)
  • Braille, lip-reading and sign language instructors (in 42154215 Instructors of persons with disabilities)
  • Managers in health care (03110311)
  • Phoniatricians (in 31113111 Specialist physicians)