Hearing Aid Specialist

Become a hearing aid specialist

A Hearing Aid Specialist is a healthcare professional who is responsible for assessing hearing and providing services to hard of hearing individuals who can benefit from the use of hearing aids. Instruction includes acoustics, hearing instrument sciences, anatomy and physiology of the human auditory system, pathophysiology of the auditory system, psychological aspects of hearing loss, tests of the hearing organ, making impressions of the ear, business aspects of the hearing industry, overview of related fields and medical implants to improve hearing. Graduates from the Hearing Aid Specialist program will be eligible to sit for the licensing examination in the state of Washington.

General Information

Career Advisor: Dan Eberle
253-680-7002 | deberle@batestech.edu

Location: Downtown Campus
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m

Program Length: Six Quarters

  • National Median Salary$54,860
  • National Potential Annual Job Openings600

This information is base on data from August 2018. For updated information, visit careeronestop, a database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Tuition and Fees

At Bates, our tuition is affordable and there are options to help make it even easier to gain an education. Federal aid is available for many of our students. Scholarships are also available through the Bates Foundation.

See if you qualify for other funding through our special funding programs with the Workforce Education office.

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Note: Information is accurate as of its original posting date. The college reserves the right to edit, change, or update information as needed throughout the year. Up-to-date information is available in Student Services.

HEARING AID SPECIALIST - Associate of Applied Science: 107 Credits

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General Education Requirements

Students may choose courses from the following options to fulfill their degree requirements.

Gen Ed Group Credits Required Course ID/Name Credits
Communication 5.0 ENGL&101 - English Composition I
An expository written communication course emphasizing critical thought, reflective reading, and information literacy with attention to rules and conventions of standard American English.
ENGL175 - Professional Writing
Enables students in career training programs to think logically and clearly and be effective and convincing in their professional and technical writing. It focuses on development of communication skills essential in a variety of forms of professional writing and technical writing.
HUM/SS/NS/O 5.0 BIOL&160 - General Biology
General Biology is intended to leave the student with an integrated view of the living world. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with exposure to and an appreciation of, basic cellular, molecular, genetic, evolutionary and ecological processes that will assist them in future advanced courses
BIOL&175 - Human Biology with Lab
This human anatomy and physiology course includes a brief overview of the human body for the non-science major. Basics of chemistry and cell structure are introduced and then the major systems of the human body are emphasized.
BIOL&241 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I
The first class in a two-quarter sequence in which human anatomy and physiology are studied using a body systems approach with emphasis on the interrelationships between form and function at the gross and microscopic levels of organization
BIOL&242 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This is the second in a two-quarter sequence in which human anatomy and physiology are studied using a body systems approach with emphasis on the interrelationships between form and function at the gross and microscopic levels of organization
BIOL&260 - Microbiology
This lab focused course is a survey of the biology of organisms too small to see without a microscope. It emphasizes the development of microscopy and culturing skills necessary to investigate the nutrition, grown, metabolism, isolation and identification of medically important bacteria. Lectures cover the concepts of microbial genetics and classification, infectious disease, immunity and immunization.
CHEM&121 - General Chemistry
Students in this course explore the structure of matter and how it behaves under various conditions in order to better understand the chemical world. Designed for students with little or no chemistry background. Laboratory activities and extended lecture concepts introduce the students to the experimental process.
CHEM&131 - Introduction to Organic/Biochemistry
Introduction to ogranic chemistry and biochemistry includes the study of the nomenclature, structure, reactions and synthesis of organic compounds and biochemistry applications in the nursing fields. The course is primarily intended for those who are interested in the application of the principles of organic chemistry and biochemistry to related areas of science, such as genetics, microbiology, physiology and nutrition.
CMST&102 - Introduction to Mass Media
This course critically examines core issues in the relationship between media and society, including news and entertainment media in print, electronic and digital format. Through readings, viewings, research and discussion, we examine the historical, cultural, political and economic contexts of media industries, representations and audiences.
CMST&152 - Intercultural Communication
This course is an introduction to the intercultural communication process and its importance in contemporary society. Students learn about the values and beliefse of a variety of cultures and develop skills to interact with people from those cultures. Emphasis is on acquiring an increased understanding of the relationship between culture and communication.
CMST&210 - Interpersonal Communication
This course is designed to increase students' awareness of the value and impact of utilizing improved interpersonal communication skills and strategies.
CMST&220 - Public Speaking
Introduction to the rhetoric of speech and the preparation and delivery of speech in an extemporaneous style, including ethical research methods, basic rhetoric and critical analysis, and organziation of various types of presentations. Two to four speaking assignments are required, plus regular quizzes, peer review and written examination. Online resources will be integrated.
CMST&230 - Small Group Communications
This course is designed to increase students awareness of the value and impact of utilizing improved small group communication skills and strategies.
ECON&201 - Microeconomics
This course focuses on the theory of the market systems as a method of allocating resources and distributing income and products. Analysis of current problems including government regulation, subsidies, monopoly and taxation
ECON&202 - Macroeconomics
Introduction to macroeconomics; elementary analysis of the determination of income through national income accounting. Covers macroeconomic issues including inflation, unemployment, economic growth, recessions, monetary/fiscal policy, and international trade and finance. Prerequisite: ECON& 201, MATH 098, and ENGL& 101 is recommended.
HIST101 - A History of Science and Technology
This course will trace the history of scientific and technological advancements in the western world. Students will be made aware of the evoultion in science from a philosophical and historical perspective. Part of the course will focus on the contributions that significant philosophers, scientists and institutions made to knowledge-making. At the same time, emphasis will also be directed toward the contributions of common, everyday artisans and craftsmen to "discovering", creating and recording scientific and technical knowledge.
HREL111 - College and Job Search Success
This course is an introduction to employment and life skills that encourage self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-discipline that are necessary for college and self-promotion success. Topics include: self-motivation, personal learning styles, self-management, emotional intelligence, study skills, cover letter and resume writing, and interviewing. Students exercise learned skills by journaling, participating in classroom discussions, creating cover letters and resumes, and participating in mock interviews and other work-related situational role plays.
NUTR&101 - Intro to Nutrition
Study of human nutrition and health. Topics include digestion, absorption and processing nutrients in the body; chemistry and functions of the major nutrients: carbohydrates, fat, protein; vitamin and mineral functions; food, culture and diet, energy balance, diet and metabolism; fitness and health; nutrition of the life cycle, food safety and local and world hunger issues
POLS&101 - Introduction to Political Science
This course is an introduction to American government and politics. Students will study the United States Constitution, governmental institutions, the political system, and the regulatory processes embedded within the document. The course format is lecture/discussion.
PSYC&100 - General Psychology
Introductory psychology for people with an interest in all that influences human behavior. Whether planning a career in psychology or gaining insights about yourself and others, you will find this a useful and interesting open enrollment course of study.
PSYC&200 - Lifespan Psychology
This course is an introduction to the various states of human development. Emphasis is on the major theories and perspectives and their relationship to the physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of development across the lifespan.
SOC&101 - Introduction to Sociology
This course is a general survey of sociology, the scientific study of the group life of humans in their environment. The course introduces the basic principles of social relationships, collective behavior, and human interaction. These principles are applied to the study of culture; race, gender, and class inequality; deviance; law; social institutions; and social change.
Quantitative 5.0 MATH&141 - Precalculus I
In this course students solve functions, function operations, rational, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and linear functions and equation solving, function graphs, matrices and determinants, sequences and series.
MATH&142 - Precalculus II
Right and oblique triangle trigonometry, circular functions, graphs of trigonometric functions, identities, inverse trig functions, vectors and polar coordinates, and parametric equations
MATH&146 - Statistics
This course is designed to teach the student counting rules, probability, mean and standard deviation, graphing, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and regression analysis. Also applications in business, health and technology
MATH&151 - Calculus
Limits and limit laws, continuity, tangents and rates of change, derivatives using definition and differentiation rules for polynomial, exponential, trigonometric, logarithmic and transcendental functions, max/min problems, LHospitals rule, Newtons method and antidifferentiation.
MATH&153 - Calculus III
Emphasizes the study of infinite sequences and series including power series. Topics include plane analytic geometry, graphing in polar coordinates, and an introduction to vectors.
MATH171 - Technical Math
Application of linear and quadratic equations, systems of equations, geometry and trigonometry and vectors and their applications in the technical workplace.
MATH172 - Business Math
Equation solving, exponents, markup, income tax, compoung interst, logarithms and finding time, annuities, amoritization and business statistics.
MATH174 - Math for Allied Health
Mathematical concepts for allied health fields including systems of measurement, use of formulas, ratios and proportions in health applications; and basic statistics

Required Coursework

Course ID Title Prerequisites Credits
HEAR110 HEAR110 - Introduction to Hearing Professions
This course focuses on the role of professionals dealing with hearing healthcare and the role of the hearing aid specialist within the healthcare system. Students investigate the different work settings and delivery models that are available in their desired work community
HEAR111 HEAR111 - Safety Practices
This course introduces universal and personal safety hygiene in the hearing clinic as well as state required 4 hours of AIDS/HIV training and blood borne pathogens. Students are expected to comply with personal and universal precautions in the educational and clinical setttings.
HEAR112 HEAR112 - Acoustics
Students learn the basics of sound production and sound amplification as it applies to human hearing and the manipulation of sound to improve hearing.
HEAR113 HEAR113 - Hearing Assessment I
Students identify key components of patient centered case history and practiced in the classroom setting. Basics of otoscopy and standard pure tone testing are demonstrated and practiced in the classroom
HEAR120 HEAR120 - Anatomy and Physiology
Normal anatomy and physiology of the human ear and related structures are discussed as it pertains to hearing.
HEAR121 HEAR121 - Instrumentation
This course is designed to introduce the student to the different equipment and tools that are used in the industry and state requirements for maintenance and calibration.
HEAR122 HEAR122 - Hearing Assessment II
Prerequisite: Hearing Assessment I; Student will continue to refine techniques learned in Hearing Assessment I. Speech audiometry with effective masking and tympanometry will be demonstrated and practiced in the lab setting.
HEAR130 HEAR130 - Disorders of the Auditory System
Common medical pathologies that affect the ear and hearing are described and discussed with emphasis on otologic conditions that require medical referral by state and federal law
HEAR131 HEAR131 - Hearing Aids I
The history of hearing aids and the development of technology and hearing aid components are discussed. Students learn how different hearing aid technologies can affect patient outcomes. Techniques for making impressions for custom ear molds and hearing aid shells are introduced
HEAR132 HEAR132 - Audiometric Interpretation I
Students practice how to read, record, and explain results of audiometric testing in both professional and lay language. The emphasis is on degree, nature and configuration of hearing thresholds as they appear on the audiogram and how the relationship to the speech signals. The initial process of patient specific recommendations to solve communication difficulties are introduced in this course
HEAR210 HEAR210 - Hearing Assessment III
This course is a continuation of Hearing Assessment II. Comprehensive analysis of the decision making process is used to choose appropriate test protocols, interpret results and apply analysis to the recommendation, selection, fit and follow-up of the hearing aids
HEAR211 HEAR211 - Aural Rehabilitation I
This course introduces the concepts of hearing impairment, hearing handicap, and hearing disability. Variables such as co-existing medical conditions, psychological adjustment, cultural values, socio-economic status, and disability are discussed
HEAR212 HEAR212 - Business Aspects I
This course introduces the different methods of hearing aid distribution, from the holding companies, vendors, retail and private dispensing offices. Students will be exposed to different sales philosophies and the ever changing industry
HEAR213 HEAR213 - Clinical I
In this course the student will shadow professionals in the field, in the Bates Hearing Clinic, and will begin to interact with patients under direct supervision of the instructor. Activities will depend upon the patient and student needs.
HEAR220 HEAR220 - Hearing Aid Evaluation
In this course the student will practice all test procedures needed to recommend, select and dispense a hearing aid. At minimum variables such as patient communication style, hearing loss, degree of perceived handicap, motivation and patient expectations will be considered
HEAR221 HEAR221 - Audiometric Interpretation II
In this course the student will begin to analyze consistency of test results for validity. A variety of counseling and assessment tools to educate and the potential hearing aid patient/family/friends will be introduced and practiced in the lab and during clinical hours.
HEAR222 HEAR222 - Hearing Aids II
A continuation of Hearing Aids I, this course focus is on the electroacoustic analysis of hearing aids, basic programming and verification of hearing aid fit using real ear measures
HEAR223 HEAR223 - Clinical II
All testing performed In Clinical I are continued with the addition of speech audiometry, tympanometry, and other special tests at the in-house hearing clinic or in a work based learning opportunity
HEAR230 HEAR230 - Hearing Aid Service and Repair
This course concentrates on the maintenance of a functioning hearing aid as well as troubleshooting a non-functioning or distorted hearing aid, programmable solutions, acoustic modifications, and minor office repairs are demonstrated and practiced both in the classroom setting and in the clinical setting
HEAR231 HEAR231 - Aural Rehabilitation II
This class focuses on different validation strategies and counseling tools for the hearing aid user. The student will explore implantable hearing devices and assistive listening devices
HEAR232 HEAR232 - Business Aspects II
Seminar in business trends, third party payees, legislation and changes in state legislation will be examined and discussed. Student will apply for licensure and familiarize themselves to Washington state Department of Hearing and Speech.
HEAR233 HEAR233 - Clinical III
Clinical III is a continuation of Clinical II. All skills are applied in a full service hearing aid clinic with direct or indirect supervision

A Hearing Aid Specialist is a healthcare professional who is responsible for assessing hearing and providing services to hard of hearing individuals who can benefit from the use of hearing aids. Responsibilities include assessment, counseling, recommendations, and selection, procurement, fitting and follow-up services for patients. One pathway to licensure requires satisfactory completion of two-year associates of applies sciences in hearing instruments. The applicant must also pass a written state examination and jurisprudence examination administered by the state of Washington. Successful completion of the Hearing Instrument Program fulfills the two-year degree requirement. Instruction includes acoustics, hearing instrument sciences, anatomy and physiology of the human auditory system, pathophysiology of the auditory system, psychological aspects of hearing loss, tests of the hearing organ, making impressions of the ear, business aspects of the hearing industry, an overview of related fields and medical implants to improve hearing. An in-house hearing clinic provides at minimum 260 hours of direct and 260 hours of indirect clinical supervision by a licensed audiologist.

At the successful completion of the program curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Describe theoretical/conceptual and practical factors that impact the fitting of hearing aids.
  2. Perform accurate assessment for the purposes of hearing aid fitting.
  3. Explain various strategies and the rationale for use when  recommending and selecting hearing aids for clients.
  4. Integrate family and other professionals in the management/care of clients with hearing loss.
  5. Identify hearing disorders and diseases for referral purposes.
  6. Describe the  acoustical characteristics of a variety of hearing aids.
  7. Fit and adjust hearing aids.
  8. Follow established clinical verification protocols.

In addition to the following collegewide learning outcomes reflect the guiding expectations of all programs at Bates Technical College:

  • Human Diversity
  • Effective Communication
  • Critical Thinking

Bates instructors are industry experts who enjoy working with and teaching students.


  • Marci Leong

    253.680.7319 | Email