An audiology assistant, sometimes referred to as an audiologist's assistant, is a medical assistant who performs routine tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed audiologist. Audiology assistants must typically hold at least a high school diploma or educational equivalent, and have sufficient training to perform the tasks required, according to the American Academy of Audiology. Candidates may obtain formal training through a community college or vocational school, through the military, or through on-the-job training with a licensed audiologist. Wages for audiology assistants may vary based on location and employer type.
The median annual income for all medical assistants in all specialized fields, including audiology assistants, from across the United States was $28,860 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of medical assistants earned in excess of $40,190 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earned annual wages of less than $20,810. The middle 50 percent earned annual wages ranging from $24,370 to $34,450. The Simply Hired website placed the average national salary for audiology assistants at $39,000 as of May 2011.
An audiology assistant's salary can be significantly affected by where she works. There were more job opportunities for medical assistants in California than in any other state as of May 2010, according to the BLS. California-based medical assistants earned median annual wages of $30,060. Medical assistants who worked in Alaska earned the highest median annual wages in the country for their occupational category at $37,260. Those who worked in West Virginia earned the lowest median annual wages in the country at $21,790. The Simply Hired website placed the average annual income for audiology assistants in Alaska at $44,000 and in West Virginia at $31,000.
An audiology assistant's income can be significantly affected by the type of employer she works for. Private doctors' offices provided the greatest number of employment opportunities for all medical assistants, including audiology assistants, as of May 2010, according to the BLS. Assistants who worked in doctors' offices earned mean annual wages of $30,110. Assistants who worked in general medical and surgical hospitals earned slightly higher mean wages at $30,770 per year. Those who worked in the offices of other health practitioners earned significantly lower mean annual wages at $26,820.
New job opportunities for all medical assistants, including audiology assistants, are projected to grow by 34 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the BLS. The BLS notes that assistants with formal training and certification should have the greatest employment opportunities. The need for new audiology assistants should be high due to increased incidence of hearing loss as the population continues to age.