Hearing Instrument Specialist Program (S117)

Program Description

Leadership Claims

Preparing qualified hearing professionals for nearly 30 years.

Program Overview

George Brown College's Hearing Instrument Specialist (S117) program will provide you with the opportunity to study and develop the clinical skills you need to test hearing, select appropriate hearing instruments and dispense these aids to those in need. For applicants with a relevant degree or diploma, we offer an opportunity for advanced standing into semester 3 of the program.

Full Description

George Brown College's Hearing Instrument Specialist three-year advanced diploma program will teach you the clinical and people skills you need to work in this field. If you are looking for a career that combines the latest technology and working with people in a health-care environment, consider applying to this program. 

While hearing loss is not exclusive to the elderly, it does often occur as we age. With Canada's population rapidly growing older, the demand for highly qualified hearing instrument specialists who can provide a client-centred approach to better hearing health care will continue to increase in the coming years. If you are looking for an in-demand career that combines technology, with health care and people, consider this program. 

You'll study the hearing instrument sciences to build a strong foundation in the theory and skills related to:

  • acoustics
  • audiometric testing
  • selection and fitting of hearing aids
  • hearing aid technology

You will develop clinical skills to not only test hearing, but to select and fit hearing aids. You will also develop the soft skills you will need to work with a variety of clients, all of whom experiencing some form of hearing loss. Skills like active listening, empathy and effective communication to help you connect with your clients and better understand their unique needs. 

You'll also be encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset through additional courses that address  key contemporary topics, including:

  • clinic management
  • health promotion
  • counselling

Earn this Advanced Diploma in Two Years With an Existing Credential

Applicants who have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in a Health Sciences, Social Sciences, or a related field, with an overall average of B minus (or 2.7 GPA or 70 per cent) may be considered for advanced standing into semester 3 of the program.

Your Field Education Options

Field placement is a key component of this Hearing Instrument Specialist program as it will allow you to apply what you've learned in the classroom to the work you will do with real patients.

This program offers both an internal and an external placement during semester 6.

Initially, you will conduct a 21-hour placement on-site at our state-of-the-art WAVE Hearing Clinic (Hearing Clinic IV). During this time you will practise treating members of the public, including George Brown students, by performing the day-to-day tasks of a hearing instrument specialist (e.g., testing hearing, fitting hearing aids and providing client counselling).

In the second half of the final semester, you will work off-site with a community partner for seven weeks (equivalent to 245 clinic hours) and will once again perform the day-to-day tasks of a hearing instrument specialist.

PLEASE NOTE: As a student in this program, you will be responsible for finding your own field experience opportunities. You will be supported in this process by program faculty.

External field education generally occurs in the broader Greater Toronto Area, so travel will be required. You should be aware that field education opportunities may be located anywhere within the province, especially if suitable opportunities cannot be found in Toronto and surrounding areas. You will be responsible for travel and other associated costs related to external field education opportunities.

Interested in this program but need more competitive marks? Consider enrolling in the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees (A108) program. This program will help you develop new and strengthen existing skills in math, biology, chemistry, physics and communication.

PLEASE NOTE: While successful graduates of the (A108) program will be eligible to apply to this advanced diploma, it does not guarantee entry into this program.

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Career Options

Hearing Instrument Specialist program faculty have strong partnerships with industry and professional associations so that they can fully prepare graduates for employment.

The employment rate continues to be high in related career sectors, including:

  • clinical
  • manufacturing
  • training
  • self-employment

In Ontario, hearing aids may only be dispensed by prescription from a professional authorized by the Regulated Health Professions Act.

Hearing Instrument Specialist graduates are eligible for full membership in the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario (AHIP) as a hearing instrument dispenser (HID); annual dues are paid to maintain membership in AHIP. Typically, graduates enroll in the Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) internship program and successfully complete 1,000 hours of practical work within 36 months of graduation. In addition, graduates must successfully complete the international licensing exam within the time period in order to become full hearing instrument specialist members of AHIP.

Full HIS members of AHIP can apply to become a hearing aid authorizer under the Ontario Ministry of Health's Assistive Devices Program (ADP).

Alumni Impact

We are immensely proud of the contributions of our alumni in Toronto and around the globe.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to major construction, entertainment, community and financial organizations, our graduates are truly making an impact across a range of industries.

Latest Alumni Stories

Watch this short testimonial from a Hearing Instrument Specialist student to learn about her recent experience in the program.

Natalia Kouneli, Hearing Instrument Specialist Student
Ontario College Advanced Diploma

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