By David H. Kirkwood
CARLSBAD, CA–If you’re an audiologist or planning to become one, you may be happy (or possibly surprised) to hear that your job is the fourth best in the U.S. Who says? Career Cast, an Internet company that helps people find employment opportunities in the industry, function, and location of choice.
Why does Career Cast rate audiology so highly? Well, based on its discussion of the profession, it appears that growing demand for its services and the personal fulfillment that practitioners enjoy seem to be its top attractions. The Carlsbad, CA-based company says, “With an aging population, audiologists are expected to be in high demand over the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also reports that as hearing aid technology improves, devices become more attractive to patients, which translates into greater opportunities for audiologists.”
In writing about the list on the Career Cast web site, Kyle Kensing acknowledges that what defines a great job is subjective and differs from person to person. But, Kensing contends, “High pay, low stress, a robust hiring outlook, a healthy work environment, and minimal physical exertion combine to define what makes a great job for most people.” He adds, “Professions including actuary, biomedical engineer, software engineer, [and] audiologist all fit the bill and help the professionals who hold those jobs attain the ultimate career goal: personal fulfillment.”
Kensing doesn’t explain how audiology “fits the bill” when it comes to “high pay.” Career Cast reports that the median annual salary in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $66,660, substantially less than that of the three professions ranked above audiology (actuary, $87,650; biomedical engineer, $81,540; and software engineer, $90,530). It was also lower than all Career Cast’s other top ten jobs, except for, ironically, financial planners. Despite all their economic acumen, they make only $64,750 a year, according to the BLS.
Audiology does score well in the “robust hiring outlook” category. According to Career Cast, there will be 37% more jobs in the profession by 2020 than there are now.
A PROFESSION ON THE RISE…
Not only is audiologist one of the nation’s best jobs, but Career Cast says it is getting better. Last year, audiologist was rated sixth in its top 100, but in 2013 it overtook human resources manager, dental hygienist, and financial planner, while being passed by biomedical engineering.
…OR MAYBE NOT
On the other hand, seven years ago, U.S. News & World Report placed audiology #1 on its list of “Best jobs to have in 2006.” At the time, the average salary was $51,740.
That publication continued to rank audiology among the best jobs for the next several years. However, this year, audiology isn’t even included on that publication’s current list of “100 best jobs.” All of this suggests that “best job lists” should be taken with a grain of salt—or maybe a whole shaker full.