Hearing aid dispensers (HAD) are fully qualified clinicians who assess hearing and provide aftercare for hearing aids.
Training and qualifications required
To become a hearing aid dispenser (HAD), you will need to successfully complete a course approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. Courses 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. Typically A levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications are required to get onto Foundation Degree, Dip HE and BSc (Hons) healthcare Science degrees. For entry onto the Masters level programmes, you’ll typically need an honours degree (minimum 2:1). 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.
Expected working hours and salary range
Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Associate practitioners in the NHS will typically be on band 4, healthcare scientists will start on band 5 and clinical scientists on band 7. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS. In the private sector you could work as an independent, self-employed practitioner with your own hearing aid dispensing business or as a HAD for a high street or charity employer.
Desirable skills and values
Good interpersonal skills, an interest in science and technology, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, pay great attention to detail and the ability to work as part of a team.
With further training and/or experience, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research, or teaching. You might develop a special interest and expertise in tinnitus, cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing devices or balance assessment and rehabilitation.