Hearing Aid Dispenser

Introduction

Hearing aid dispensers (HAD) are fully qualified clinicians who assess hearing and provide aftercare for hearing aids

Work Activities

As a Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD), you will study the hearing of patients and fit hearing aids as they are needed.

Hearing aids are designed to provide better hearing for users, including helping them to hear everyday sounds such as the doorbell and telephone and improve their ability to hear speech.

They also help users listen to music and television, and make it easier for them to follow conversations in different environments and therefore more confident while talking.

All modern hearing aids are digital and hearing aid dispensers profile the amplification to meet the needs of the individual.

You could work in a wide range of organisations from the NHS and large national high street chains to smaller self-run businesses.

If you are employed within the NHS, you will:

  • assess the need for a hearing aid
  • fit an appropriate hearing aid device/technology
  • provide ongoing support and rehabilitation where appropriate

In high street outlets, you will also:

  • sell hearing aids
  • provide a wide variety of technology, support and rehabilitation to hearing-impaired adults
  • HADs might have clinical responsibility for support staff including Hearing Aid Assistants

In the NHS, you will work as part of a team with Healthcare Science Practitioners and Clinical Scientists specialising in audiology, Healthcare Assistants, Newborn Hearing Screeners and Doctors specialising in audiovestibular medicine.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Hearing Aid Dispenser, you will need:

  • good interpersonal skills - to be able to communicate with people of all ages. You must respect their privacy, be sympathetic and have a friendly and professional attitude towards them
  • to have an interest in science and technology – an ability to update and test your knowledge against experience
  • to be comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment
  • to pay great attention to detail - to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure
  • the ability to work as part of a team

If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

NHS employees are paid on a rising scale based on set pay bands, according to your skills and responsibilities.

  • Band 4: £21,089 - £23,761
  • Band 5: £24,214 - £30,112
  • Band 7: £37,570 - £43,772

Non NHS roles are paid on a similar scale to the NHS.

Hours of work

Hearing Aid Dispensers work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Some may work evenings and weekends. You'll move around between locations to collect blood, as part of a team.

Where could I work?

Employers include the NHS (in hospitals and in the community) and private healthcare companies.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To become a Hearing Aid Dispenser, you will need to successfully complete a course approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Courses in hearing aid dispensing are available at a number of different levels, and so the entry requirements will vary depending on the level of course you’re applying for.

Entry requirements vary, depending on the course that you are applying for, so it’s important to check with individual course providers, but the following is a guide:

  • to get onto the foundation degree or Diploma of Higher Education in hearing aid audiology, you may need to be employed in the audiology field and will typically need A levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3
  • for BSc (Hons) healthcare science degrees in audiology, you’re likely to need moderate to high grade A levels in three subjects including a science
  • for entry onto the Master’s level programmes, you’ll typically need an honours degree (minimum 2:1) or the overseas equivalent in a suitable science subject (or possibly suitable experience combined with alternative qualifications)

It is essential to check entry requirements with each course provider as they set their own.

Some courses are sponsored by industry as an ‘earn while you learn’ option, where you can work for a company as trainee who may sponsor the fees and expenses for the course.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Qualifications

To enter a degree course in healthcare science you'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels, including at least one science subject/maths
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 and above in your A level subjects
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs (A*-C or 9-4), including English and maths

Equivalent qualifications, such as a vocational level 3 qualification and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, might be acceptable for entry .

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Further Information

Skills for Health

Skills for the health sector

Address: Goldsmiths House, Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP

Tel: 0117 9221155

Email: office@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Website: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Address: Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BU

Tel: 0845 3006184

Email: education@hcpc-uk.org

Website: www.hcpc-uk.org

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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