Health Technician (Hearing Instrument Specialist)

Baltimore, Maryland
Jan 25, 2023
Jan 31, 2023
Full Time

Duties to include but not limited to:
  • Hearing aid troubleshooting and repair
  • Performing visual and auditory checks of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology-including all hearing aid accessories as well as alerting devices (troubleshoots performance)
  • Fabricating earmold impressions with proper (non-diagnostic) otoscopy; ordering earmolds based on plan of care through prosthetics or DLC and fitting and modifying earmolds, if necessary
  • Providing basic hearing aid information for patients and caregivers consistent with the audiologist's treatment plan, including but not limited to, realistic expectations, communication strategies, and/or aural rehabilitation; assisting in set up and delivery of face-to-face and telehealth visits by preparing the equipment for patient evaluation and other audiology procedures including, but not limited to daily biologic listening calibration of audiometric equipment and calibration of real-ear equipment
  • Assisting patients with hearing aid connectivity including, but not limited to downloading applications (or apps), pairing devices in the app, Bluetooth pairing, and pairing hearing aid accessories
  • Maintaining comprehensive supply and equipment tracking systems to include monitoring stock of RME and consumable items; ensuring proper inventory levels to complete the daily tasks
  • Prioritizing the acquisition of all supplies and equipment regarding date of expiration and may maintain a loaner hearing aid inventory
  • Assists patients through triaging phone calls and audiology requests with regards to priority and urgency, following the audiologist's plan of care

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm
Telework: Not Avaialble
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: FS#000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Experience and Education:
    • Experience. Completion of the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program for Hearing Aid Specialists; OR
    • Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school that includes coursework related to the field: hearing science, human anatomy and physiology, hearing instrument science, gerontology, psychology or other general healthcare areas. NOTE: There is no combination of education and experience which can be substituted for the basic requirements.
  • Licensure or Registration: Individuals must hold a full, current and unrestricted license or registration to practice as a HIS in a state, territory, commonwealth or the District of Columbia.
    • Loss of Licensure or Registration. A Health Technician (HIS) who fails to maintain the required licensure or registration must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment.
  • Board Certification: Individuals must hold active board certification from the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS).
    • Exception for Non-Board Certified Health Technician (HIS).
      • Non-board certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for appointment, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate Health Technician (HIS) under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B).
      • Non-board certified individuals shall only provide care under the supervision of a licensed audiologist.
      • Non-board certified individuals may only be appointed at the entry level and may not be promoted/converted until board certification is obtained.
      • Temporary appointments of non-board certified Health Technician (HIS) may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment.
  • English Language Proficiency: Health Technician (HIS) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Grade Determinations:
Health Technician (HIS), GS-05
. None beyond the basic requirements.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
a. Knowledge of basic anatomy of the head and neck.
b. Knowledge of basic infection control procedures and guidelines.
c. Skill in using basic computer software to complete tasks such as using email, creating spreadsheets and word processing.
d. Ability to communicate orally and in writing.
e. Ability to follow verbal and written instructions.
f. Ability to maintain stock and supply level inventories.

Health Technician (HIS), GS-06
. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
a. Knowledge of normal and abnormal ear anatomy.
b. Knowledge of hearing aids, hearing assistive technology, hearing aid manufacturers and manufacturer software.
c. Skill in documenting patient procedures and patient devices.
d. Skill in providing patient education for hearing aid use, to include assisting patient with hearing aid insertion, removal and hygiene (cleaning and disinfection).
e. Ability to provide patient education and training regarding hearing loss and communication strategies for various listening situations.
f. Ability to solve problems or make decisions regarding hearing aids, hearing assistive technology and patient care that is consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care under the supervision of an audiologist.
g. Ability to prepare patient, equipment, and/or environment for audiology procedures.
h. Ability to provide triage of patient telephone calls or audiology requests.

Preferred Experience: Prefer two or more years of hearing aid troubleshooting and repair; performing visual and auditory checks of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology-including all hearing aid accessories as well as alerting devices (troubleshoots performance);fabricating earmold impressions with proper (non-diagnostic) otoscopy; ordering earmolds based on plan of care through prosthetics or DLC and fitting and modifying earmolds.

References: VA Handbook 5005/149, Part II, Appendix G73, Health Technician (Hearing Instrument Specialist) Qualification Standard, dated March 1, 2022.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-06. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-05 to GS-06.

Physical Requirements: Requires some physical exertion such as prolonged periods of standing, bending, reaching, crouching, stooping, stretching, and lifting moderately heavy items such as manuals, record boxes, equipment, or assisting patients. The position requires travel between VA clinics and possession of a valid driver's license may be required.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .