The World is an Audiology Oyster

Robert Traynor
March 5, 2012

When I was a young audiologist in the 70s, someone asked me, “What do you do for a living?”  I replied, “I am an Audiologist.”  Their response was, “So what kind of stereos do you sell”?  Such was the case for many of us who were audiologists at that time.  The profession was still very young–only 30 years–and, outside the university, not many people, not even many of the hearing impaired, had heard of Audiology.  Now, almost 40 years later, the profession is close to 75 years old and most people with hearing loss at least know what an audiologist does and what they can do for them.  The profession has not only become a household word in the United States, but around the world as well.

Overseas Audiological Opportunities

In recent years, the worldwide vision of the profession of Audiology has drastically changed.  The work of audiological concultants from Australia, the US, the UK and other parts of thw world has paid off and many countries not only have developed audiology training programs but many of them are exceptional.  Many countries around the world have a drastic need for audiologists and are constantly seeking professionals. While educational programs have changed to the Au.D. in the United States, there are some very high quality audiology programs in countries such as India, Brazil, Egypt, Hong Kong and many others.   In some countries with billions of people, the need is great and, though the programs are good ones,  it will be some time before there are enough professionals to fill all the positions needed to treat the hearing impaired.

Most of the high quality educational programs are at the Masters and Doctoral degree levels, based upon programs in the USA or in the UK.  It will only be a short time until the Au.D. becomes the standard in some of these programs.  But,  the world has become aware of what audiologists do and there are places that cannot obtain highly trained audiologists . Thus, there are major shortages of professionals to treat patients.

As the US domestic economy continues to struggle, many other countries offer experienced audiologists not only interesting career opportunities, but also the excitement and adventure of traveling and living in another country.  In some parts of the world, audiologists are required to go to medical school for their first four years, then train as audiologists. This is the case in Mexico and in some European countries, including Denmark and the United Kingdom.  Due to the influence of Dr. Salah Soliman, honored by AAA in 2001 for his work in developing the discipline of audiology in the Middle East, most audiologists in the middle east are Audiological Physicians.  However, most countries in the world have adopted the the US training model and welcome audiology applicants from the US.


Where Do I Find International Opportunities

Audiology is  recognized by our colleagues at Audiology Online, which currently lists positions for audiologists in New Zealand, Singapore and Canada,; also by other services that list employment opportunities for audiologists around the world.  One company is Your World Internationalwhere consultants offer expert advice to help you make the most of a wide choice of audiology positions. Working globally with both the private and government sectors, Your World International has openings available in all key areas of audiology, including many specialty areas.  Audiologists can also go directly to sites such as Australian Hearing to find employment there or to indirect sites such as to discuss the advantages and limitations of working in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Hearing instrument and equipment manufacturers also offer audiologists opportunities in many countries to be involved in research and development teams for new and exisiting products as well as assisting in the training their customers and/or distributors.

As Audiologists prepare for Audiology Now, the American Academy of Audiology Convention in Boston, March 28-31, 2012, they can go to AAA’s Hear Careers where you can either advertise you position or find that unique job in a place that could end up one of the best adventures ever!

For those considering living and working abroad, the US government offers the US Expatriate Handbook.  This useful reference offers a wealth of information about seeking work in other countries and about the issues that Americans may face as expatriates.

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