Audiologists are doctors and are required to go to school four years. It is not easy to get accepted into an Audiology program; I recall numerous classmates of mine with high GPAs and GRE scores receiving rejection letters. Audiologists not only deal with the selling of hearing aids, but also the rehabilitation and diagnosis of hearing and balance issues. Licensed Hearing Specialists do NOT DIAGNOSE. We are only licensed to sell and dispense hearing aids to customers and help them hear better. Of course we are knowledgeable on the disorders of our hearing system but we do not diagnose. After graduating with my bachelors in 2012, I decided to work and brainstorm on if I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. I was recruited to train and earn my dispensing license and decided to do that instead of going back to school for Audiology or Speech Pathology. This decision is great for me because it not only involves what I went to school for, but we also have to know how to sale and market ourselves which are two skills that align with all my future career goals. Also, it was a cheaper alternative. Graduate school is VERY expensive. Obtaining my license is a cheaper option and will still allow doors to open for me in the hearing and assistive technology industry.
For both professions, you have to be a people person and willing to help others. This is not a profession for anyone with lackluster social skills! I think working in the hearing and assistive technology industry is very underrated. Most people are not aware of the opportunities in this industry.
If you or someone you know are in the market for hearing aids, do research. Audiologists and Licensed Hearing Specialists are both very knowledgeable and competent individuals who can help change your life for the better. What is important is finding a professional who is willing to take their time in alleviating your hearing loss and exhibiting valuable customer service and people skills.