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Speech-Language Pathologist

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What Does it Take to Be a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Position Description Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

Life As a Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Develop or implement treatment plans for problems such as stuttering, delayed language, swallowing disorders, or inappropriate pitch or harsh voice problems, based on own assessments and recommendations of physicians, psychologists, or social workers.
  • Develop individual or group activities or programs in schools to deal with behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems.
  • Administer hearing or speech and language evaluations, tests, or examinations to patients to collect information on type and degree of impairments, using written or oral tests or special instruments.
  • Design, develop, or employ alternative diagnostic or communication devices or strategies.
  • Conduct or direct research on speech or hearing topics and report findings for use in developing procedures, technologies, or treatments.
  • Communicate with non-speaking students, using sign language or computer technology.

Things a Speech-Language Pathologist Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Speech-Language Pathologists say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Types of Speech-Language Pathologist Jobs

  • Speech and Language Clinician
  • Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Speech and Language Specialist
  • Educational Speech-Language Clinician
  • Speech Pathologist

Are There Job Opportunities for Speech-Language Pathologists?

In the United States, there were 145,100 jobs for Speech-Language Pathologist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 17.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,900 new jobs for Speech-Language Pathologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 10,400 positions for Speech-Language Pathologist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Speech-Language Pathologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Speech-Language Pathologist are Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Speech-Language Pathologist

The typical yearly salary for Speech-Language Pathologists is somewhere between $48,690 and $120,060.

Salary Ranges for Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists who work in District of Columbia, California, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Speech-Language Pathologists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $71,240
Alaska $83,620
Arizona $74,710
Arkansas $73,660
California $93,510
Colorado $90,980
Connecticut $92,280
Delaware $81,440
District of Columbia $93,570
Florida $76,820
Georgia $77,730
Hawaii $76,330
Idaho $74,740
Illinois $77,120
Indiana $73,780
Iowa $76,020
Kansas $70,280
Kentucky $72,440
Louisiana $71,270
Maine $65,540
Maryland $84,960
Massachusetts $85,720
Michigan $78,220
Minnesota $75,590
Mississippi $64,560
Missouri $77,790
Montana $64,580
Nebraska $69,110
Nevada $77,620
New Hampshire $73,630
New Jersey $95,000
New Mexico $74,800
New York $90,820
North Carolina $75,310
North Dakota $67,340
Ohio $78,200
Oklahoma $81,700
Oregon $87,610
Pennsylvania $79,530
Rhode Island $80,450
South Carolina $71,600
South Dakota $58,860
Tennessee $77,140
Texas $75,800
Utah $78,840
Vermont $73,550
Virginia $86,090
Washington $73,220
West Virginia $61,070
Wisconsin $70,560
Wyoming $80,470

What Tools & Technology do Speech-Language Pathologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Speech-Language Pathologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Audition
  • Text to speech software
  • Language analysis software
  • Signal analysis software
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Bungalow Software Aphasia Tutor
  • ELR Software eLr Extra Language Resources
  • KayPENTAX Multi-Speech
  • Learning Fundamentals Speech Visualization
  • Propeller Multimedia React2
  • Biofeedback software
  • Speech analysis software

How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

Individuals working as a Speech-Language Pathologist have obtained the following education levels:

Speech-Language Pathologist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech-Language Pathologist Work Experience

Where Speech-Language Pathologists Work

Speech-Language Pathologist Sectors

Speech-Language Pathologists work in the following industries:

Speech-Language Pathologist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Ghozt Tramp via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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