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NOC Code: NOC Code: 3141 Occupation: Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Audiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Speech-language pathologists diagnose, assess and treat human communication disorders including speech, fluency, language, voice and swallowing disorders. 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 unit group. Audiologists diagnose, evaluate and treat individuals with peripheral and central hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Speech-language pathologists diagnose, assess and treat human communication disorders including speech, fluency, language, voice and swallowing disorders. 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 unit group.

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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

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  • Read promotional materials for insurance plans, diagnostic equipment and training events. Read brochures on benefit programs and insurance plan descriptions to advise patients about various entitlements. Read promotional flyers from professional associations to learn about upcoming conferences. (2)
  • Read referral letters from other health care professionals. Read these letters to learn about patients' hearing and speech conditions, the reasons they were referred and the medical opinions of referring practitioners. (2)
  • Read notes and comments on forms and in patients' files. Read notes on intake and interview record forms to learn about patients' medical histories, family backgrounds, test results and planned treatment programs. Read case notes in patients' files to learn about health care professionals' observations and recommendations and patients' at-home assignments. (2)
  • Read email from co-workers and colleagues. For example, read messages confirming the details of meetings. Exchange advice and updates on patients' treatments with other specialists. (2)
  • Read provincial and federal regulations which affect the various aspects of the work. For example, read monthly Public Service Health Care Plan bulletins to learn about changes in benefits for hearing services for specific client groups such as veterans. (Audiologists) (3)
  • Read articles in newsletters and trade magazines to learn about new medical treatments, interventions and products. For example, audiologists may read about new hearing aids and programmable hearing devices in The Canadian Hearing Society's Quarterly Magazine. (3)
  • Read a variety of manuals for information on tests, assistive devices, office equipment and software. Read directions for administering tests and interpreting results in testing and assessment manuals. Read equipment manuals to identify and understand the functioning and capabilities of assistive devices. Read procedures for installing and troubleshooting software in software manuals. (3)
  • Read medical reference texts for information needed to diagnose impairments and disabilities and identify useful therapies. For example, audiologists may read texts such as the Handbook of Clinical Audiology, Medication Compendium and the Handbook of Auditory Evoked Response to further their understanding of hearing impairment, auditory testing and medications' effects. Speech-language pathologists may read texts such as the Canadian Compendium of Pharmaceuticals, Clinical Management of Neurogenetic Communication Disorders and Language Intervention Strategies in Adult Aphasia when reviewing various communication disorders and corresponding treatments. (4)
  • Read scientific articles and research reports in academic journals. For example, read the Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology to learn about new treatments for conditions which may result in hearing loss and speech impairment. Read scientific papers to understand the research done, determine its' value and to incorporate applicable procedures into clinical practices. (4)
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  • Write reminders, notes to deaf patients and short comments on forms. For example, write reminders about appointments in a daybook. Write comments on patient intake forms during initial interviews and summaries of treatments on patients' treatment records after treatment sessions. Audiologists may write notes for deaf patients during treatment sessions. (1)
  • Prepare conference presentations on a variety of topics related to the practice. When composing presentations, consider audiences' interests and demographics, feedback received from prior presentations and the points you want to make. (3)
  • Wite information sheets for patients. For example, write easy-to-read overviews of patients' problems, instructions for exercises that they can do at home and descriptions of treatment results they can expect. (Speech-language pathologists) (3)
  • Write letters to medical specialists and insurance companies. For example, write referral letters to medical specialists about concerns presented by patients, observations made, measurements taken and treatments attempted. Speech-language pathologists may write letters to insurance companies justifying the need for speech-language therapies and hearing aids for patients. They provide detailed test results and outline patients' responses to treatment programs. (3)
  • Write progress and evaluation reports. Speech-language pathologists may prepare progress reports for their supervisors and for the parents and teachers of children they are treating. They describe therapies they have used and progress made. They make recommendations for continuing treatments. They simplify the reports so lay readers can understand them. Audiologists write precise, technical evaluation reports describing their analyses of patients' hearing conditions for physicians and speech therapists. (3)
  • Write special project and annual reports. For example, audiologists may write reports on auditory services for children. They summarize their activities, treatment methods, patient outcomes, financial costs and provide recommendations. They summarize the services they have offered and outline problems encountered such as resistance to using therapy methods and equipment. They make recommendations such as increasing the number of consultations and outline the financial costs of implementing their recommendations. (4)
  • Write training manuals. For example, speech-language pathologists may write training manuals for users of assistive devices and specialized software used in therapy. They use plain language and vocabulary appropriate for their patients. (Speech-language pathologists) (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, scan contact, class and waiting lists for the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of doctors, patients, departmental contacts and workshop participants. View calendar to determine available appointment times for clients' visits. View tables showing the listening development of children organized by age, expected sound recognition and type of hearing losses. (1)
  • Refer to anatomical and assembly drawings. Refer to anatomical drawings of jaws, throats and ears to clarify your own understanding and to illustrate medical conditions for patients. Use assembly drawings when putting together new assistive devices such as hearing aids. (2)
  • Complete a variety of forms. For example, write names, addresses, phone numbers and other data on intake, treatment record and release of information forms. Complete medical insurance claims and medical referral forms. Enter test results such as audiogram readings for hearing discrimination into patients' treatment records. (2)
  • Interpret graphs. For example, audiologists review audiograms to gauge patients' hearing losses. They also interpret tympanograms to determine how well the middle ear is functioning. Speech-language pathologists interpret graphs of patients' speech to inform treatment plans. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Create databases to store patients' and colleagues' contact information. (2)
  • Search through bookmarked websites for information on specific hearing and speech pathologies, technological changes to hearing prostheses and new techniques for treating disabilities. Download games and sound effects if working with children. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use programs such as PowerPoint to create slide presentations and accompanying handouts. Insert pictures, sound and video clips to enhance presentations. (2)
  • Use word processing programs such as Word to write and format referral letters and short progress reports. Use basic text editing and formatting features to create finished documents. (2)
  • Exchange email and attachments with co-workers, colleagues and clients. Sort and save email in designated folders. Those using Outlook may enter appointments in on-line appointment schedules. (2)
  • Use existing spreadsheets to organize diagnostic and treatment data, to track income and expenditures and to generate monthly reports. Those in private practice may create spreadsheets to track operational data. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, audiologists use specialized computer software to program hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists use various sound analysis programs such as Spectra Plus and Voice Tools to analyze the pitch and volume of patients' voices. They use specialized software for language development such as Speech Viewer, Lexivoc and Rapidolect to improve patients' reading and speaking abilities. They also use Kurzweil software to magnify text for partially-sighted patients. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Listen to patients' speech to diagnose abnormalities. For example, observe patients' conversations surreptitiously from behind one-way glass and listen through headphones as appropriate. (Speech-language pathologists) (1)
  • Communicate with various suppliers to place and track orders for office supplies, auditory prostheses and games used during medical interventions. (2)
  • Communicate with technicians and other helpers during diagnostic and treatment sessions. For example, audiologists may ask technicians for assistance in entertaining children while they are monitoring them and conducting hearing tests. (2)
  • Communicate with patients, parents, guardians and teachers of underage patients. For example, explain test results to patients and recommend appropriate solutions using non-technical language. Explain plans for treating students' speech, language and hearing disabilities to teachers. Instruct parents and teachers on the proper use of hearing devices with non-verbal and hard-of-hearing children. (3)
  • Consult other health professionals to collect and compare information about clients' medical conditions and test results. For example, to ensure a comprehensive diagnosis and suitable treatment plan, a speech-language therapist may consult an audiologist and a physician to gather information about a patient who has dysphagia. (3)
  • Speak to a variety of groups and organizations in the community. For example, present information on new assistive devices, new products under development and improvements made to hearing devices. Respond to questions following presentations. (3)
  • Interact with patients during diagnostic and treatment sessions. Gather information about patients' health and evaluate patients' cognitive abilities by asking questions. Model correct pronunciation and repeat words to encourage fluent speech. Adjust levels of language use to correspond to the ages and interests of patients. (Speech-language pathologists) (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claim amounts for travel and incidental expenses. Calculate travel and meal expenses using per kilometre and per diem rates. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts and receive payments from patients. For example, prepare invoices for evaluation and intervention services. Multiply the number of hours worked by the hourly rates, add relevant taxes and calculate totals. Calculate invoice totals for products received. Verify quantities and prices and calculate line amounts, totals and taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Compare product features such as elimination of background noise and prices of assistive devices such as hearing aids from competing suppliers to determine best value for price. (2)
  • Schedule appointments according to the time required for various services. For example, schedule times for initial intake and examination of patients, for testing and analyzing results and for training patients to use assistive equipment. (2)
  • Develop budgets, track income and monitor expenses. For example, calculate the number of patients seen, the amounts of money received for treatments and the costs of supplies. Monitor income and expenses by entering amounts in financial spreadsheets. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Use a variety of precise measuring instruments to determine hearing ability and sound level. For example, measure hearing thresholds using digital audiometers. Measure the mobility and pressure of eardrums using tympanograms. Use otoacoust emission meters to measure newborns' hearing through the echo of sounds. Use electroencephalograms to measure electric currents created in responses to sounds and identify latency and amplitude. Use sound level meters to measure ambient noise in rooms. (Audiologists) (3)
  • Measure children's' language and learning abilities using cognitive and developmental tests. For example, measure vocabulary development, verbal memory skills, articulation and morphological abilities and language disabilities. Calculate basal and ceiling levels for language and speech tests by adding the number of correct and incorrect verbal responses. (Speech-language pathologists) (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Analyze test results. For example, audiologists compare the average number of words patients are able to hear in a variety of contexts to norms for their ages. Speech-language pathologists may compare patients' abilities to perceive sounds before and after receiving assistive devices. They may also compare patients' scores on language ability tests to norms for their age groups. (2)
  • Determine monthly and yearly trends in the numbers of patients treated and types of treatments provided. Display operational data tables and graphs to spot patterns and identify trends. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times required to carry out job tasks. For example, audiologists estimate times needed to clean and repair hearing aids. (2)
  • Estimate treatment and recovery times. For example, speech-language pathologists estimate times needed for patients to overcome swallowing disorders. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists plan their own job tasks and organize their own appointment schedules. They allocate time for testing patients, analyzing results and writing reports. Their schedules may have to be adjusted to co-ordinate their work with other health professionals involved with patients. Those working in clinics and hospitals contribute to the development of operational policies. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists may occasionally direct the activities of technicians in training. Those in private practice have additional responsibilities for planning the operations of their offices. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide which treatment settings would be most beneficial for patients with specific speech-language disorders. For example, work with some patients on a one-to-one basis and others are treated in small groups. (Speech-language pathologists) (2)
  • Decide to accept new patients. Consider patients' disorders, the numbers of patients you are presently treating and your area of expertise. If you accept patients outside your field of expertise, conduct research and develop new tests and treatment programs. (3)
  • Choose diagnostic and treatment methods. Use information gathered during intake sessions to guide the selection of diagnostic methods. Consider the costs of various treatments and patients' willingness to travel to specialized treatment centres. (3)
  • Decide to refer patients to other medical specialists. Consider your own limitations and the needs of patients. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Time and money is lost when patients cancel and miss appointments. Reschedule treatment sessions and leave reminder messages for patients prior to appointments. (1)
  • There are limited funds for resolving special situations such as clients' inability to purchase hearing devices. Review budgets for these expenses with supervisors and discuss options for obtaining the necessary funds. (2)
  • Receive questionable readings from testing equipment. Check battery levels and connections between the testing equipment and computers. Follow troubleshooting steps in equipment manuals. If needed, contact the equipment manufacturers' representatives. (2)
  • Encounter patients who are making limited progress on prescribed treatment plans. Re-evaluate patients' symptoms, determine if there have been any changes in medications and confirm that patients have been completing the prescribed exercises. Run further tests to identify and verify diagnoses, question patients and explain the importance of exercises. Establish contracts with patients to ensure commitment to treatment plans as appropriate. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about communication pathologies and treatments by searching websites, databases and academic journals and by seeking the advice and opinions of co-workers and colleagues. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the suitability of assistive devices for specific patients. Review the activities in which patients participate, levels of hearing losses, manufacturers' specifications, independent reviews of competing brands of devices and comments from patients. (2)
  • Evaluate the health of patients' hearing and speech production systems. Ask questions about patients' medical histories to determine if physical damage has occurred and conduct tests and examinations to detect the location of problems and any abnormalities. Use audiometers to determine degrees of hearing losses and speech tests to determine the levels at which the patients can detect and understand speech. (3)
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