nursing student giving a hearing exam

Hearing Instrument Dispensing Program

The Hearing Instrument Dispensary program prepares students for a career as a hearing healthcare provider and hearing instrument specialist. During hearing instrument dispensary courses, students learn how to administer and interpret hearing tests, select and fit hearing aids, adjust physical and electroacoustic parameters of hearing instruments and recommend assistive listening devices.

This certificate program provides students with an understanding of anatomical and physiological changes associated with hearing, as well as acoustics and hearing sciences, clinical audiometry, aural rehabilitation, and professional ethics. The program prepares hearing instrument specialist students for the written and practical examinations required by the Illinois Department of Public Health and is designed to meet the standard of competency outlined by the Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act. 

College of DuPage Health Science programs maintain strong clinical affiliations with healthcare settings across the Chicago metropolitan area. Students accepted into the Hearing Instrument Dispensary program are placed in a clinical practicum opportunity offering 250 hours of clinical instruction. Students who earn the Hearing Instrument Dispensary certificate should currently have a minimum of an associate's degree and have the desire to work as a hearing instrument specialists/dispensers in the healthcare industry.

First Step to Register - Attend an Advising Session

Determine Your Path

Hearing instrument specialists work together with audiologists in medical settings, private practice, clinics, and retail venue in order to meet the needs of the hard of hearing community. 

The continued growth in an ever-increasing aging population suggests an increasing need for hearing instrument specialists well into the future. At COD, students will find:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of professional experience.
  • Instruction utilizing state-of-the-art audiological equipment including a full-size soundbooth.
  • Affordable courses to help you achieve success without creating overwhelming debt or draining your savings account.
  • Small class sizes to ensure you receive personalized attention.
  • The only program in the state of Illinois that offers a hands-on lab and clinical experience.

Hearing Instrument Dispensary

The Hearing Instrument Dispensary program certificate prepares students for entry level position as a hearing health care provider. Graduates of this certificate program are eligible to take their written and practical Illinois Department of Public Health Licensure exam.

COD Stories

Lindsey Doherty

"Be prepared to work, as understanding the science behind the technology is going to help you in the long run. This program has really provided me with the groundwork for growing this into a long-lasting career." - Lindsey Doherty

Lindsey's COD Story

COD Stories

Laura Kruppe

"I have been able to help so many people hear better. It’s been an amazing experience. I hope to continue to work with my patients and help the world hear!" - Laura Kruppe

Laura's COD Story

Get Started Today

Get started in the Hearing Instrument Dispensing Program by reading the registration packet. The packet contains an admissions checklist that you will need to follow in order to be eligible for admission.

Program Costs

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Hearing Instrument Program graduates will:

  • Describe auditory pathways, peripheral and central
  • Interpret sound processing in the peripheral and central auditory system
  • Explain the anatomy and physiology of the peripheral auditory system, outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, and auditory nerve
  • Interpret cochlear mechanics and physiology
  • Explain the anatomy and physiology of the central auditory system: cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, nucleus of lateral lemniscus, inferior colliculus, medial geniculate body, and auditory cortex
  • Describe the structures and function of auditory efferent system and vascular system in the auditory pathway

Graduates of the Hearing Instrument Dispensary program certificate are expected to meet the following objectives:

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the human auditory system including auditory pathways, peripheral and central
  • Explain auditory sensations and interpret auditory perception of complex sounds
  • Demonstrate the basic principles of audiological assessment across the lifespan
  • Demonstrate interventions aimed at minimizing the communication difficulties associated with hearing loss in people of all ages
  • Demonstrate knowledge of hearing aid components and systems, electroacoustic evaluation, methods of prescribing hearing aid gains, and hearing aid signal processing
  • Describe hearing healthcare provider scope of service, licensure, workplace skills, resume writing and interviewing skills, professional ethics, employment settings, team membership and conflict resolution, universal precautions, culturally sensitive practice, and the psychosocial impact of hearing loss.

Career Information

Explore careers based on your interest, location and salary range or view top occupations by income.