One-on-one helping careers are among the most pleasant. And this one offers the promise that over your career, the tools to help patients will get better and better. Already, today's computer-controlled hearing aids are more effective and enjoyable than traditional ones. America's most famous user: Bill Clinton. Another plus for this profession is that you'll often get out of the office. You might spend part of your day in a hospital clinic, part in a school, and part at a hearing aid store. If you're bright and ambitious, you might even be on a research team developing the next generation of hearing aids.
Yet another advantage is that audiology is an under-the-radar career—few people consider it, so competition isn't as keen as it might be. You'd think demand for audiologists would be rapidly increasing, with all the aging boomers and the increased special-education testing of children. But increasingly, lower-salaried ear technicians do much of what audiologists do. So job growth in this small profession (10,000 people nationwide) is expected to be just average. The education requirement isn't, however: Increasingly, a doctor of audiology degree is required.
National: $64,500. More pay data by metropolitan area
(Data provided by PayScale.com)
- The American Speech-Language Hearing Association lists accredited doctoral programs accepting students.
- U.S. News ranks audiology training programs (fee applies).
Developing hearing-loss-prevention programs in factories and other loud workplaces.