Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

Occupation:Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

About the job

Nature of work:

Audiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are employed in hospitals, community and public health centres, extended care facilities, day clinics, rehabilitation centres and educational institutions, or may work in private practice. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job duties:
Audiologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Develop and administer audiometric tests and examinations using specialized instruments and electronic equipment to diagnose and evaluate the degree and type of patients' hearing impairment.
  • Plan and implement habilitation/rehabilitation programs for patients, including selection, fitting and adjustment of amplification devices, such as hearing aids, and teaching speech (lip) reading.
  • Provide information to patients and families regarding the nature, extent, impact and implications of hearing loss and treatment.
  • Establish personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Conduct research related to hearing and hearing disorders.
  • May instruct and supervise audiometric technicians, students and other health care personnel.
Speech-language pathologists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Administer tests and examinations and observe patients to diagnose and evaluate speech, voice, resonance, language, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders.
  • Develop, plan and implement remedial programs to correct speech, voice, language, resonance, cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders.
  • Establish group and personalized care plans working as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Provide advice and educational services to patients and families regarding communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Conduct research on speech and other communication disorders and on the development and design of diagnostic procedures and devices.
  • May instruct and supervise communicative disorders assistants, students and other health care personnel.
Sample job titles:
  • audiologist
  • clinical audiologist
  • diagnostic audiologist
  • hearing aid practitioner
  • pediatric audiologist
  • research audiologist
  • speech and hearing therapist
  • speech pathologist
  • speech therapist
  • speech-language pathologist

To work in this field you should have an interest in health, and in caring for the special needs of people, or an interest in educating and working with students who have language and communication challenges. Ingenuity, initiative, and imagination are needed to adapt activities to individual needs. You should be patient, self-disciplined, and resourceful. The ability to inspire confidence and to motivate clients is important. A strong sense of responsibility, good judgment, and communication skills are also necessary.

Job requirements:
  • Audiologists require a master's degree in audiology.
  • Speech-language pathologists require a master's degree in speech-language pathology.
  • Membership in the national association, Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, is usually required.
Other considerations:

Progression into management positions, such as chief audiologist or director of speech-language pathology, is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 63% of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $80,505. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists300Moderate growth25Low
Minimum: $31.02
Median: $40.00
Maximum: $43.38
Minimum: $22,222
Median: $74,291
Maximum: $91,134
Occupations in Health36,515Strong growth4,385Low
Minimum: $16.38
Median: $25.50
Maximum: $41.00
Minimum: $10,740
Median: $43,853
Maximum: $88,944
Audiologists and Speech-Language PathologistsCompared to: Occupations in Health
Percent employed full-time79%77%
Percent self-employed2%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentAudiologists and Speech-Language PathologistsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton14%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley11%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeAudiologists and Speech-Language PathologistsCompared to: All Health
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4244
GenderAudiologists and Speech-Language PathologistsCompared to: Occupations in Health
% Employed% Employed
EducationAudiologists and Speech-Language PathologistsCompared to: All Health
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolxx1.1%$27,581
High school3.2%x6.9%$24,119
Trades certificatexx5.0%$31,728
College certificate or diplomax$27,75639.4%$36,693
University certificate or diplomax$30,7444.8%$50,769
Bachelor's degreex$59,27927.6%$57,186
University advanced certificate or diploma3.2%$53,5132.3%$61,833
Master's degreex$66,2865.1%$87,808
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry6.3%x7.2%$83,000
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Audiologist/Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Requirements:Standards exist for this job in Nova Scotia. Certification or membership in a professional body may be required by employers, however, a certificate is not legally needed to work in this occupation.
Regulating body:
Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia
PO Box 775, Halifax Central CRO
Halifax, NS B3J 2V2
(902) 423-9331
Hearing Aid Practitioner
Right to Practice:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Mail Room, 8 South, Maritime Centre 1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5
(800) 670-4357
(902) 424-0720
Useful contacts:
Speech Pathologist's and Audiologist's Association of the NSTU
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1000
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: (613) 567-9968
Fax: (613) 567-2859
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Audiology/audiologist and speech-language pathology/pathologist
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any integrated or coordinated program that prepares individuals as audiologists and speech-language pathologists. These programs include courses in a variety of communication disorder studies, audiology, speech pathology, language acquisition, and the design and implementation of comprehensive therapeutic and rehabilitative solutions to communications problems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Program Name:Speech-language pathology/pathologist
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to evaluate the speaking, language interpretation, and related physiological and cognitive capabilities of children and/or adults and develop treatment and rehabilitative solutions in consultation with clinicians and educators. These programs include courses in the anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing; biomechanics of swallowing and vocal articulation; communications disorders; psychology of auditory function and cognitive communication; language assessment and diagnostic techniques; and rehabilitative and management therapies.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Speech-Language Pathologist