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How to Train to Be a Hearing Instrument Specialist in Pennsylvania

All hearing aid dealers and fitters must be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health Hearing Aid Program. Pennsylvania’s Hearing Aid Sales Registration Law, Act 262, regulates the industry. Dealers, fitters and temporary fitters must pass a state examination before becoming registered. An apprentice must register and file an Apprentice Training and Education Outline and Agreement. He must renew his registration twice a year until he passes the state’s exam. Other registrants must renew on April 15 of each year. An individual who sells or fits hearing aids without a registration is subject to criminal and civil penalties.

Find a sponsor to train you. An apprentice fitter or dealer must undergo six months of training under the direct supervision of a registered sponsor and pass a certification exam. The sponsor must agree to train the apprentice.

Work as an apprentice for two months under direct supervision for the first period of training. During this time, the state permits you to perform proper selection testing and hearing aid fitting. You may also create ear impressions. The sponsor must approve the final testing and fitting to ensure it is correct.

Inform all customers you are an apprentice. The sponsor must keep records detailing all services performed by the apprentice.

Learn ear anatomy and physiology, how to evaluate hearing, hearing aid function, equipment procedures and use, hearing instrumentation technology, how to make an ear mold and office procedures.

Learn how to repair and maintenance, psychology of the hearing impaired and technical devices to assist the hearing impaired. You must also learn compliance with the Hearing Aid Sales Registration Act and the penalties for violations.

Gain knowledge about all hearing-related medical and rehabilitation facilities available in your area.

Observe and learn the criteria for making a medical referral. Refer the client to a physician when you find active drainage, visible evidence of cerumen accumulation or a foreign item in the ear canal.

Make a referral if the client reports sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss, acute or chronic dizziness, a history of drainage or ear pain within the previous 90 days.

Continue your training for four months or until the time of the next examination, whichever is longer. An apprentice may, under her sponsor’s direct supervision, perform all the duties of a registered fitter. Time lapses in the training period are prohibited.

Take the state examination once you complete the six-month apprenticeship. Individuals who pass the test will receive a fitter’s certificate of registration and may freely perform all the duties.

Display a copy of your registration certificate in each office in which you work. Take 20 credit hours of continuing education over a two-year period. It must be completed before your next registration renewal.


Pay close attention to your sponsor. Learn everything about the industry.


If you fail the test, you will have to renew your apprentice license again.

  • Pay close attention to your sponsor. Learn everything about the industry.
  • If you fail the test, you will have to renew your apprentice license again.

Shari Caudill began writing professionally in 1985 with the "Portsmouth Daily Times." Her work has also been published in the "Community Common" and "Cleveland Plain Dealer." Caudill has a writing certificate from the Institute of Children's Literature and a photography certificate from the New York Institute of Photography.