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HomeCareerSpeech Language Pathology Career Guide: Duties, Salary & Important Requirements
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Speech Language Pathology Career Guide: Duties, Salary & Important Requirements

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There are several things to take into consideration if you’re thinking about a career in speech pathology. This Speech Language Pathology career guide is a useful resource for those considering careers in speech pathology since it clarifies the duties, obligations, educational requirements, and employment prospects the industry offers. This guide will go into more detail about several specialities and work environments that might be included in a career in speech and language therapy below. Additionally, this article will address pay options and career perspectives.

Speech Language Pathology Career Guide

Who is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech therapists, often known as speech language pathologists, assist people with speech impairments. This includes evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and assisting in the prevention of numerous speech problems that could have been brought on by illness, accident, autism, and more. They will assess a person’s level of speech and language as well as their capacity for swallowing. They create treatment programs and then implement the one that best suits a person’s requirements.

In order to help the relatives of their patients deal with these problems, these specialists may also work with them. To give their patients the best care possible, speech-language pathologists frequently need to collaborate with other medical professionals and/or school personnel.

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Speech Language Pathologists Work Environment

SLPs are employed in many different contexts. Working as a speech therapist may mean doing so in institutional, medical, or educational settings. Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, residential healthcare facilities, health departments, private clinics, and universities are a few examples of workplace settings.

Following are the settings where the most SLPs are employed, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • State, local, and private educational services: 38%
  • Offices of Audiologists, Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists: 23%
  • State, local, and private hospitals: 14%
  • Facilities for Nursing and Residential care: 5%
  • Self-employment: 4%

The majority of speech pathologists work full-time jobs, and some may need to travel to different places, such schools, to carry out their duties.

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Speech Language Pathology Career Guide: Education and Certification Requirements

For those interested in a profession as a speech therapist, there are certain educational requirements. Having a master’s degree in speech therapy that has been accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology is one criterion for becoming a certified speech pathologist.

Accredited programs come in a variety of forms. Some universities provide a Master of Speech Pathology as an MA (Master of Arts) or MS (Master of Science). Before submitting an application to speech pathology school, it’s crucial to make sure the program is accredited, regardless of the kind you are drawn to. Accredited schools will educate students with the essential knowledge, abilities, and capabilities required in the profession of speech pathology through coursework and clinical practice.

Before you can begin applying for speech therapist jobs, you must first complete your graduate education, pass the Praxis Exam, complete a clinical residency, and become certified. You’ll need to stay current with state-specific continuing education requirements as you continue working in the profession.

After completing the required education, training, and certification, a variety of new SLP scope of practice duties will be yours to handle when working in the field. Patients with speech, language, fluency, voice, and cognitive communication impairments are treated by speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Patients having issues with swallowing and feeding may also be seen by them.

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Speech Language Pathology Career Guide

A Speech-language Pathologist’s duties

SLPs often deal with persons who want to enhance their overall communication skills and abilities, provide rehabilitative services, or create alternative communication channels for those who have severe communicative problems. SLPs frequently work with people who have medical concerns or diseases, but they may also assist people who want to address non-medical issues like accent alteration.

The teams of professionals that speech pathologists work with may include audiologists, doctors, occupational therapists, and other members of the medical support staff. They can also work independently. They can deal with families and carers in addition to those who are their patients.

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Speech Pathologists Employment Outlook and Salary

For the years 2020–2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 29% increase in employment in this field. Due to medical developments that have improved stroke recovery times and premature newborn survival rates, both of which may necessitate speech therapy for the patient, this occupation has a better employment prognosis than the average for all jobs. There is also a greater demand for support in the areas of speech and language due to the aging population. The demand for pathologists in educational settings will rise as more kids participate in special education programs.

As of May 2020, the BLS also stated that the majority of speech-language pathologists worked in elementary and secondary schools, but that the administration of businesses and enterprises was the industry with the highest wages. As of May 2020, the average pay for speech pathologists was $80,480. New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and California had the highest salaries in this industry.

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Job Specializations for Speech Pathologists

There are many different speech therapist specializations, so keep that in mind when you look at various speech pathology careers. These specialities concentrate on various facets of speech pathology and could call for specialized education and training. Regardless of the area of specialty in speech therapy, evidence-based practice will be used in many SLP positions.

Selecting a specialization may lead to a variety of career options, some of which are listed below:

Speech Disorder Jobs:

In these positions, speech pathologists assist persons who experience difficulties with speech disorders or challenges associated to speech, such as creating speech sounds, fluency, or voice resonance. Patients who stammer, which is a type of disfluency, might also be seen by them.

Language Disorder Jobs:

Speech Language Pathologists in these positions assist those who struggle with spoken- or written language difficulties. Their patients may visit them for assistance with problems with expressive language (communicating with others), receptive language (understanding others), and language use in a socially and functionally meaningful way. Patients with language difficulties receive assistance from SLPs who specialize in language disorders with syntax, morphology, phonology, and pragmatics.

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Social Communication Disorder Jobs:

SLPs in these positions assist clients who experience difficulties with verbal and non-verbal social communication. Their aim is to assist patients in comprehending the social aspects of communication, such as adapting speech to the listener and context, comprehending conversational and storytelling customs, and comprehending proper speech conduct in various social contexts. They frequently assist those who have autism spectrum disorders as well as those who have suffered trauma like a brain injury.

Swallowing Disorder Jobs:

SLPs in these positions assist patients with dysphagia, a condition that causes difficulty swallowing and eating. Dysphagia may develop as a result of a disease, stroke, or accident. Many occupations with swallowing disorders are found in medical or therapeutic facilities.

Cognitive Communication Disorder Jobs:

Speech Pathologists in these positions work with patients who are dealing with cognitive communication difficulties, which can make it difficult for them to connect ideas, make plans, and solve problems. Their patients can have suffered from dementia, a stroke, or a traumatic brain injury.

Speech Language Pathology Career Guide

Hearing Impairment and Deafness Jobs:

In these positions, SLPs work with people who are deaf or have hearing loss. To give patients the best care possible, these SLPs collaborate often with audiologists and work with both the patient and their relatives. SLPs in these positions may deal with either children or adults.

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Bilingual Speech Pathology Jobs:

SLPs in these positions have the opportunity to practice both their native language and another language. They must be able to communicate verbally or visually in a second language with native or near-native competency. You need to receive certification from your jurisdiction in order to practice as a multilingual speech pathologist. If you’re considering a job as a specialized speech pathologist, be aware that state requirements differ, so make sure you are familiar with the procedure in your area. Bilingual speech pathology is a specialization available in some graduate schools.

Assistant Speech Pathologist:

A career as a speech pathology assistant can be a suitable fit for you if you’re interested in the field but don’t want to pursue a master’s degree. Although speech-language pathologists are not permitted to practice independently, they can support licensed speech-language pathologists by performing tasks like administrative work. Aides and assistants are the two primary degrees of employment for speech pathology assistants. These levels range in terms of responsibility and training, with assistants typically requiring less training. Depending on the state, different terms are used to describe the support staff in the field of speech pathology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Speech Pathologists not called Therapists?

The straightforward response is that they share the same occupation, hence there is no difference between them. In spite of this, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) were previously frequently referred to as speech therapists, and one of the other terms may be more commonly used in some parts of the world.

How long do Speech Pathologists work each day?

The typical workplaces for medical speech-language pathologists include hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation centers. During regular business hours, they generally put in 40 hours a week.

Is Working in Speech Pathology Stressful?

The psychological and emotional well-being of speech pathologists may also be significantly impacted by stressful working conditions, professional devaluation, occupational overload, poor management, and other circumstances.

Which Major is ideal for Speech Pathology?

Future speech-language pathologists frequently choose to major in communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, language development, education, psychology, and english as their undergraduate majors.

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