Speech-language pathologist essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $69,870
- 2012, number of jobs: 121,690
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 23 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
Speech-language pathologists; what they do:
A speech-language pathologist career attracts people interested in all facets of human speech and sound and also enjoy science and technology as well as helping and treating people.
Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose and treat patients who have fluency, swallowing, speech, language, and voice disorders. Speech pathologists work with a large range of patients from people who suffered from strokes and brain injuries to people affected by stuttering or emotional problems.
A typical workday for speech pathologists consists of thoroughly evaluating patients with a series of standard tests to determine the severity of their speech disorder or disability and designing the best treatment plan for them.
A speech-language pathologist career involves teaching a number of techniques to help patients overcome their disability or disorder such as alternative communication methods, sign language and strengthening swallowing muscles. A speech language therapy career also includes keeping patient records, scheduling case management activities, presenting a final evaluation at the end of treatment and discharging patients.
Speech-language pathologists job titles:
- Pediatric speech-language pathologist
- Communication Specialist
- Speech Pathologist
- Speech and Language Specialist
- Speech-Language Therapist
- Speech and Language Clinician
- Speech Therapist
- Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist
- Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped
- Traveling Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-Language Pathologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Speech-language pathologists need a master’s degree, supervised experience and a license (in most states) to begin a speech-language pathology career. Many colleges and universities offer a Master in Speech-Language Pathology degree program.
Employers favor certification; speech-language pathologists can attain the Certificate of Clinical Competence Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Certification satisfies most or all the necessary requirements to acquire a license.
Speech-language pathologist programs cover subjects such as:
- Speech science
- Anatomy of speech
- Physiology of speech
- Speech and language disorders
- Alternative communications
- Early childhood motor behaviors
- School speech-language-hearing programs
- Pediatric dysphasia
Speech-Language Pathologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 23 percent employment growth for speech-language pathologists between 2010 and 2020.
The increasing geriatric baby-boomer population and the higher instances of health issues causing speech and language disorders, such as Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, and hearing impairments increases the demand for speech pathologists.
Medical advances for trauma and stroke patients also play a role in job growth for speech-language pathologists as well stuttering among children and the increased awareness surrounding this disorder.
Speech-Language Pathologists Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $69,870
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $94,790
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $63,340
- Home health care services
- Elementary and secondary schools
- Offices of occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists
- Nursing care facilities