What to expect from a career as a Hearing Specialist

Working with people who have trouble hearing or who can’t hear at all can be very challenging, but it is also highly rewarding. Students in hearing programs at Ontario colleges gain technical knowledge and practical skills to help those who are deaf or have difficulty hearing by administering hearing tests and properly fitting hearing aids and other assistive devices.

If you’re interested in working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing and want to make it easier for them to communicate and understand others, here’s what you need to know.

Hearing Courses

In Ontario college hearing programs, students develop strong technical and analytical skills that will prepare them to administer and assess the results of hearing tests. Students will also learn about the many assistive hearing devices available, so they will be equipped to provide clients with the proper hearing instruments and hearing aids on a case-by-case basis.

Courses will consist of both lab and lecture components and will cover a wide range of subjects, including (but not limited to):

  • Clinical acoustics
  • Hearing loss and testing
  • Counselling techniques and interviewing
  • Hearing disorders
  • Psychology

Some hearing-related programs will focus less on the technical aspects of hearing loss and hearing difficulties, and more on communicative disorders. In these programs, students will learn to develop plans and programs that will help people with hearing and speech / language disorders communicate more effectively.

General Hearing Program Requirements

Hearing programs at Ontario colleges offered at the diploma level require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit and a grade 11 or 12 math credit. Some programs may also require a specific grade 11 or 12 science credit.

Hearing programs offered at the post-graduate level, such as communicative disorders programs, require a college diploma or university degree. Check program admission information carefully.

Hearing Jobs and Salaries

Hearing programs prepare students for a variety of positions working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Graduates could take positions as hearing instrument specialists and work in diverse settings, including (but not limited to):

  • Hospitals
  • Private practices
  • Hearing clinics
  • Hearing aid / instrument manufacturers

Graduates who focus on communicative disorders will work directly under speech-language pathologists and audiologists in these same organizations, as well as in child treatment centres, early years centres and school boards.

The average starting salary for hearing instrument practitioners is roughly $40,000 per year. Salaries may increase with expertise and additional education in the field.

Ontario Colleges Offering Hearing Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of hearing programs at Ontario colleges. 

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