A.A.S. Degree: 65 Hours
The Hearing Instrument Science (HIS) program is designed to prepare graduates to practice as hearing healthcare providers in a variety of settings. Those settings include private practice, corporate store fronts, franchise models, and others. Graduates may choose to license as a Hearing Instrument Specialist (Dispenser), work as an Audiology Aid (Assistant), or go on to pursue a higher degree in the hearing field. This program also prepares graduates to function as a member of the hearing healthcare team. The team includes: Hearing Instrument Specialists, Otologists, Audiologists, and Otolaryngologists (ENTs). State licensing or registration is required after graduation, depending on the student's location. The majority of graduates go straight into the workforce as Hearing Instrument Specialists. The May 2017 Occupational Employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor state that the estimated mean national wage for Hearing Instrument Specialists is $57,030.
This flexible distance learning program offers part time and full time enrollment options. While the majority of the coursework is done online, there are hands-on portions taught during lab sessions and clinical placement. Some of the courses offer live lecture times via video conferencing with the recordings posted for review within the course. Students may choose to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Hearing Instrument Science or a Certificate of Achievement in Hearing Instrument Science. The Certificate of Achievement is designed for students who are already licensed or students planning to work in a state that doesn't require an Associate's degree for state licensing.
The HIS program is a selective admission program. Students should apply to the program prior to enrolling in any HIS course labeled 170 or higher. These requirements can be found in the course catalog and preferred course sequence document. The HIS program is approved by the Missouri Board of Examiners for Hearing Instrument Specialists.