Erica Koehler, Au.D, is an audiologist in ReSound Global Audiology in the area of research and development. Her role is primarily working with fitting software. She works with the fitting software team during development by answering questions and helping to make design choices that will support those that will be using the software in the field. In addition, she sees patients in clinical research trials and oversees the Student Outreach program.
How did you first become interested in a career in audiology?
I have a sibling that is hard of hearing so I was around hearing aids at a young age and I would listen to his hearing aids. Of course, at that time, I didn’t want to be an audiologist because I didn’t even know the profession existed. After starting college with a major in aviation, I decided to change career paths. I wasn’t exactly sure where my interests were but was reminded of my interest in helping the hard of hearing by attending the annual American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA) camp with my family.
What has been most fulfilling about your career so far?
The opportunity to help develop hearing instruments in a time where technology is so advanced. It’s fun and rewarding to see a product that we worked so hard on do what we intended; meet the satisfaction of the fitters and, of course, the wearer.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I get asked this question a lot during my visits to universities since I joined the company right out of grad school, and I will give you the same answer to this question. No, I love my job and even though I might not be able to jump into an ENG (Electronystagmography test) or ABR (auditory brainstem response test) right now, I am very satisfied with the career path that I have taken thus far. Toward the end of my time in grad school, I knew that hearing aids were my area of interest and my current position blends my clinical training with research perfectly! In fact, I have accomplished more as a member of Global Audiology in the past few years than I ever imagined.
What tips do you have for current students or those considering a career in audiology?
Audiology can be extremely rewarding and exciting, especially with current and future technologies. Be true to yourself and think outside the box. No matter where your interests lie, there is a career path in audiology for you… you just may not have discovered it yet.
Au.D Insights is our monthly feature for aspiring audiologists. Let us know if you have questions you’d like answered in future posts!