You’ve graduated with a degree in Audiology, what now?
Audiology courses in the UK allow for placement experience within NHS and/or private sectors and generally this can constitute as the ‘pre-reg’ experience needed*. (*This will differ depending on the institute offering the course).
From the outside audiology appears to deal with wax and whistling hearing aids, but once you step into this world you’ll realise there’s a lot more than meets the eye. There are a variety of career options available that students and graduates may not necessarily be aware of.
Aston University held their 2nd audiology specific career’s event in March this year and it was open to other universities also. We had a great turn out from students and a range of exhibitors from manufacturers to charities, private sector companies to the NHS. The day provided an insight into the different sectors where the skills developed during an audiology degree course can be utilised, as discussed below:
A large majority of students conduct their placements in NHS audiology departments. Departments can cover wide geographical localities so the work can vary from department to department. Working in the NHS provides the range of benefits from such an organisation, as well as the comfort of working in a larger team. There may be additional training options to further specialise in the different aspects of audiology, or even promotion through the grades dependent on experience and other factors. Advertisements are always updated here: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/
The private and independent sectors
High street stores are also providing hearing aid technology, as are the audiology specific companies. Working in this environment may be different to that of the NHS, with typically a wider array of technology available, and usually in smaller teams, or even independently; with management opportunities also often available. You would need to decide what working style suits you and each company will offer something different. Graduate recruitment days are a great way to apply for such roles and are held around the country (you would need to check details of these with the individual companies).
Hearing Aid/equipment manufacturers
Perhaps you’d like to work with the technology itself? You could work from testing the equipment, to taking part in trials as the audiologists, or even become a representative for the company and visit different providers. Companies can have branches abroad so international opportunities could be considered.
There are plenty of recruitment agencies specialising in audiology locums if this takes your fancy? These can vary between NHS and private sectors and duration lengths can vary from days to months. This would be suitable especially if you’re flexible and able to travel, and may give a greater insight into a range of sites before deciding on a permanent role.
There are plenty of national and international charities that are audiology related. Perhaps you could work as an audiologist, adviser or even volunteer abroad and help set up a service. Check out one charity where they have done just that across Africa: http://www.sound-seekers.org.uk/volunteer-in-africa/
Or you can always study some more… Master degrees, PhDs, or other courses could prove to be of interest to you. Research opportunities also arise with charities, universities, clinical departments etc. The requirements vary for the different courses so keeping an eye out for adverts through NHS jobs or professional bodies are always a good idea.
Outside of audiology or even the UK!
The degree can be used in other health related areas or the wider context. The knowledge and skills you’ll develop maybe transferrable to a host of areas. You could even work for a professional body, or volunteer with a charity alongside your day job.
Working abroad is also a very exciting option; requirements vary from country to country such as the degree level to the years of experience, but audiologists are needed around the globe!
This list is by no means exhaustive, and new opportunities are constantly arising in such a fast changing field. By choosing a particular route now does not necessarily mean that’s where you’ll work for the next 20 years; you have the flexibility to work in a variety of settings and sometimes these may even overlap. The world is your oyster!
To explore your options after university contact Prospect Health’s Hear Care Team on 01423 813452 or you can visit our job pages for Audiologists here.